When most people hear the term social breakdown, they probably think about the poor, the homeless or a biker gang, but this is not the end of the story.
Emile Durkheim defines anomie (for me social breakdown) as a “…condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals resulting in the breakdown of social bonds between the individual and the community.” It arises from a “…mismatch between personal or group standards and the wider social standards, or lack of social ethics,” resulting in “…moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations.” It’s not just an “…absence of norms, because “…a society with too much rigidity and too little individual discretion can also produce anomie (quotes on ‘anomie’ from Wikipedia. org).” So, a healthy society seems to be a delicate balance between the individual (individuals of all classes) and the common good.
It may seem easy for some to identify the lack of social, moral and ethical standards to be present in other classes but not their own. But, it is important to look at our own morality and the legitimacy of our own aspirations. Greed and selfishness can be deeply hidden in self-achievement. Durkheim writes that “desire without limit can never be fulfilled, it only becomes more intense.” This results in grasping without concern for others. It results in subprime mortgages that cause hard-working people to lose their homes while bankers get richer and drug companies charging astronomical prices for a drug needed to save a child’s life just to increase their profits. It’s accepting tax breaks that take money from programs that promote the common good like healthcare, education and infrastructure.
Social breakdown is not just present in the lower classes, but in all classes. We need to work together and to realize what is truly important. We need to break out of our class bubbles and participate in the common good. Robert Reich states that without the common good we have no society. We are all responsible for the common good.
2 thoughts on “Social Breakdown Where You’d Least Expect It”
Recently Prince Salman visited the United States as part of a World tour. Saudi’s prince is trying to reform his country by moving the Saudi’s economy away from oil and moving their brand of Islam away from Isis, Talaban, and Alqueda.
From September on the Prince has inprisoned dozens of peaceful clerics who might oppose his efforts for improhvement. Time magazine quoted former US officials as saying “More people feel better about about the countrys future especially young people. People have suffered and poltical oppresssion has not lightened up. This is not democratic reform”.
Saudi Arabia has received the support of Jared Kushner and Donald Trump.
Saudis economy is in dire crisis oil price per barrel has dropped from 100 to 50 dollars a barrel forcing the country to run on its cash reserves. To gain power the prince has inprisoned the opposition and tortured members of the royal family.
His opposition has been accused of poltical coruption while the prince spent a billion dollars for a yacht and 300 million dollars for a gold encrusted chateau.
Bin Salman has made some changes to thw social stucture Soon women will be able to drive,movie pictures and music festivals are opening and the religous police are being reined in.This is being done to appeal to young citizens who are enthusiastic about these changes.Meanwhile the crown prince has taken greater control of the media,by inprisoning activists jounalists and educators. The crown prince stated he has no intention to dilute his power by providing a opposition voice.
Saudi Arabia has a very small population compared to Iran. Most work is done by foreign oil worker who are mostly Pakistanis and Indian> These worker
work 6 days of the week have no rights and probably have no future under the crown prince.
The crown prince has much to do to be more sesitive to his citizentry and others.
The ridiculous wealth and power of this prince and other oligarchs is causing many wealthy Americans to want more and more and more. This greed and power has corrupted our democracy as government policies are shifted in their favor at the cost of the lower classes.