Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy

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Cover of Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy
SubtitleThe End of the Social Contract
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
EAN/ISBN978-3-319-43922-8
Release Date2017-03-27
Author(s)Robert E. Denton, Jr., and Benjamin Voth
Retailer Link Palgrave Macmillan
SummaryThis book explores the social and political implications of what the authors identify as the decline of the social contract in America and the rise of a citizenry that has become self-centered, entitled, and independent. For nearly two decades, America has been in a “cultural war” over moral values and social issues, becoming a divided nation geographically, politically, socially, and morally. We are witnessing the decline of American Democracy, the authors argue, resulting from the erosion of the idea of the social contract. Especially since the “baby boomers,” each successive generation has emphasized personal license to the exclusion of service, social integration, and the common good. With the social contact, the larger general will becomes the means of establishing reciprocal rights and duties, privileges, and responsibilities as a basis of the state. The balkanization of America has changed the role of government from one of oversight to one of dependency, where individual freedom and responsibility are sacrificed for group equality. This book examines the conditions of this social fragmentation, and offers ideas of an American Renaissance predicated on communicative idealism.