Her. Ein kan ha ei litt smug haldning til slike bilete, og det bør ein jo ha (var Jesus ein lockean liberaldemokrat?? Kyrkje er kyrkje, politikk er politikk. Men det er ikkje vasstette skott.) Samstundes må ein også reflektere over kva som er det ideologisk-politiske alternativet her. Bellahs Habits of the heart er ei strålande bok om forholdet mellom religion og politikk i USA. Her vert "problemet" analysert. Men løysinga vert ikkje skissert. Her fylgjer nokre artige meldingar frå Amazon:
"But let's end by getting back to what appears to be the book's thesis, by stringing some quotes from the book together: "What has failed at every level...is integration...we have failed to remember our community as members of the same body." In an ideal world "it would become part of the ethos of work to be aware of our intricate connectness and interdependence." "...traditions help us to know that it does make a difference who we are and how we treat one another." And, "...in our desperate effort to free ourselves from the constrictions of the past, we have jettisoned too much, forgetting a history that we cannot abandon." "In a healthy society, the private and public life are not mutually exclusive...they are two halves of a whole, two poles of a paradox." "Taking cared of one's own is an admirable motive. But when it combines with suspicion of and withdrawal from the public world, it is one of the conditions of despotism Tocqueville feared."
Another suggestion is that "only effective institutions - economic, political and social - make complex, modern societies livable." Another: "We are facing trends that threaten our basic sense of solidarity with others." And: "The erosion of meaning and coherence in our lives is not something Americans desire." But a coherent, confident plan to get us "back" to some state of integration is not really convincing in the book. Instead, we get: "it is not clear that many Americans are prepared to consider a significant change in the way we have been living. The allure of the packaged good life is still strong"...even though..."our material belongs have not brought us happiness." And, there is "no question that many Americans find their contribution of work and private lifestyle satisfying."
"Not too long ago, I told someone that it seemed all my friendships were either falling apart, had fallen apart, or in limbo. I feel something is very wrong with the way Americans relate to one another these days. I can break my friends up into a few categories: narcissistic friends that demand my interest center around them or they quickly disappear from my life; "day planner friends" into which I have to fit into their schedules; "users" who want something from me whenever they contact me be it helping them move or job contacts...these can be all the same people or mixtures of them...I have few really true friends these days and I do not think it is because I have somehow become unreasonable with them.
The point is, I cannot shrug off the feeling that not only is our country in crisis as a republic but so are our interpersonal relationships. I think the bottom line is capitalism, the rise of narcissistic-based electronic devices and websites, and the loss of the concept of the common good have made us potentially all predatory on one another. What can I get out of this person? This situation? "Individualism" has now degraded into narcissism with the real threat of this causing the collapse of our country if not our planet (i.e. the constant reassurance from government agencies that we will not have to make "sacrifices" for climate change which is basically planetary death; in this case, offending the individual supplants possible planetary death taking the obsession not to offend the "individual" to nearly psychopathic levels).
A few weeks ago I mentioned to some co-workers that I believe we should be motivated by the idea of the common good and they looked like me like I was crazy. They had no idea what I was referring to. They are also young people. 'Raising up" young people who have no concept of the public good quite frankly should terrify us all. Anyway, the friend I was talking to pulled Habits of the Heart off her crammed bookshelf and handed it to me. "I don't think you are the first one to make note of this. It's not all you."
If you are feeling like something is "off" in living in this country, even in your day to day relationships (work, friendship, family), this book may be comforting if not disquieting. It validates my fears that sadly, we are a demanding and spoiled people. We have no sense of the SACRIFICES our forefathers and foremothers made so we could get to this point and we seem to have lost the concept of the public good. This book will help you put this in perspective and provided for me, comfort. It also reaffirmed in me that I need to keep talking about the importance of the public good, if nothing else, to honor those that gave up so much to get this country going.
Vel, spørsmålet er om det i det heile teke er mogleg å finne attende til ein "naturleg" integrerande heilskap i befolkninga, gjeve det liberalistiske demokratiet. Det er i alle fall ikkje enkelt å få det til, for ideologien oppfordrar til ekspressiv individualisme og vernar om alle standpunkt uavhengig av om dei er rasjonelle eller ikkje. Men, sånn er det. Ein får halde dialogen i gang, og freiste å finne gode løysingar. Verne om "communities" innad i samfunnet. Og diskutere materialistisk metafysikk.