Things in Solitude

Tyler Hower

Hoosier/Californian. Notre Dame, OSU, USD. Teach philosophy. Think about it, too. Magister canum. Pulvis et cinis et nihil.

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4 Responses

  1. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for writing this piece. We have undoubtedly shifted from a time of we to a time of me. I hope this is merely a swing in the pendulum and that things will shift back, eventually settling more towards the middle.

    There is value on the push towards the me. It helped us recognize the value of the individual and push back upon too strong calls for conformity, that denied and rejected and excluded for too many people for reasons that were ultimately non-essential to the we. But I do feel we’ve gone too far. As a teacher of young children, I see this running rampant among younger parenting generations. Many truly do not understand why their child’s needs cannot be elevated over the needs of others or the group as a whole. And they simply fail to recognize that all of the other parents in the classroom are making the same request, making it not only problematic from the standpoint of my goals, but literally impossible to achieve (you cannot make every child into THE priority). Some of this is exacerbated by the immense wealth and privilege in my school’s community, but it is not exclusive to that slice of the world.Report

  2. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Interesting piece. I go back and forth on how I feel about the Bowling Alone thesis. The days of community/social bond that people seem to hark back to had a lot of enforced social conformity that could be very brutal on dissenters. Not just racial minorities, religious minorities, or LBGT people, but people who had priorities or goals than the majority. I’m not particularly interested in seeing a revival of groups like the Jaycees or Rotary or any of the other leagues of 1950s America.

    But community is important and there seems to be something in modern America that destroys the sense of local community in many places. I think cities are better for senses of local community than suburbs but a lot of Americans still like suburban living despite the ways in which it can destroy senses of community. I think Michael Cain would point out that the nation is roughly divided into thirds for preferences in urban, suburban, and rural living.Report

  3. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    The British historian John Dickie has a book on the history of the Freemasons, the group that originated these voluntary socieites like the Rotary Club and the Oddfellows. One reason why people joined these groups beyond the camraderie is that they provided a lot of mutual aid for their members in the time before the welfare state. Once the welfare state became established people quit and went onto other private pleasures.Report

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