I once watched a documentary, I don't even remember what it was about exactly, I only had certain parts of it echo in my mind with impact.
There was a woman speaking at one point, she was explaining that during the Cold War, in our extreme concern about Communism, we considered how to
best defend our people, especially our younger generations, from being influenced and indoctrinated into Communist philosophy.
The solution, they thought (again, I am fuzzy on who "they" were) was to put emphasis in education and culture upon individuality. To put great focus
on the rejection of social conscience, of collectivity, or following any authority other than oneself. Children were taught not to trust anyone else,
not to be concerned about anyone else- pay attention to what you are doing only- do not look at your neighbor! If everyone else was jumping off a
cliff, would you do the same???)
Developing egocentric thought was the defense system or vaccination against Communism.
Unfortunately, this caused a breakdown of shared cultural values which normally act as the bonding glue between a peoples- each man to himself and no
shared values or norms makes them disintegrate as a group. This weakened the nation as a whole. The only shared value was "do not stick together".
She said, by the time they realized their mistake, that they had destroyed the nation they were trying to preserve, it was too late.
Then a generation later the Culture Wars began, in which people, unable to rid themselves completely of the natural social animal instincts, and need
to belong to a pack of some sort, began forming smaller subcultures.
Eventually, with the threat that became clear after 9/11, those subcultures pulled together somewhat, with a common enemy, into two factions... two
I have absolutely no hope for the nation now and believe it is doomed to fall, as houses divided tend to do.
edit on 30-4-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)