Bowling Alone – A Great Book to Read

In part by Jack…

In the book Bowling Alone, author Putnam, talks a great deal about the glue that holds a society together and allows it to thrive.   Those things are generalized in the term social capital, in the finance world this would be money.  But, what is it in a social setting?

Social capital refers to connections, networks, and relations among people, especially when those links are enriched by civic virtue and deepened by reciprocal obligation. None of these forms of capital appears out of the blue. Nor can they be taken for granted. It takes attention, effort, and commitment to provide, grow, and enhance them.

A society that expects to thrive can ill afford to be without sound social capital, for that resource fosters what Putnam calls “sturdy norms of reciprocity.” At the heart of those norms is a sense of mutual trust. Where such trust is found, people can count on each other for help, support, and commitment that encourage and create shared causes. Quoting baseball’s Yogi Berra, Putnam says that the reciprocal features of social capital he has in mind are largely summed up in the adage: “If you don’t go to somebody’s funeral, they won’t come to yours.”

Putnam’s analysis of social capital highlights three further points. First, social capital is not unequivocally good. Social networks, even reciprocal obligations, can serve causes that are unjust and destructive. Putnam wants to minimize the forms and functions of social capital that promote “sectarianism, ethnocentrism, corruption” and bolster those that encourage “mutual support, cooperation, trust, institutional effectiveness.” Trump’s 4th of July parade was designed to generate pride, trust and support.  Did it meet its goals?  If not, what would you suggest?

  1.  Ethnocentrism -  Sociology. the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture.  a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own.  Another word for tribalism.
  2.  Sectarianism – excessive attachment to a particular sect or party.  Another form of fanaticism.
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24 Responses to Bowling Alone – A Great Book to Read

  1. Peggy says:

    Perfect example.

    ‘The Real College Scandal’ — Tucker Exposes The ‘Quid Pro Quo’ Between Ivy League Schools And Prominent Democrats:

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/08/tucker-carlson-real-college-scandal/?fbclid=IwAR0fdDoe6GNWsetq0k40ZYXYFxwXU84wGHMP26q_yo2ij_NPEek_cP0Y9kA

    • Chris says:

      Tucker Carlson is a bigot who practices exactly the type of ethnocentrism Jack rightly condemns in the article you’re commenting on, Peggy.

      His latest nonsensical outburst:

      ”Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country. A system designed to strengthen America is instead undermining it … She’s a living fire alarm, a warning to the rest of us that we ought to change our immigration system immediately, or else…maybe we’re importing people from places whose values are simply antithetical to ours.”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/593602/

      Conor Friedersdorf takes Carlson’s bigotry to task in the above article:

      The notion that Omar alone proves anything about America’s immigration system, for better or worse, is absurd. If Carlson wants to make the case that the immigration system is broken, he should find evidence, not an avatar to rile up his audience. What’s a term to describe someone who insists that whole groups of people are bad in the same way, and ceases to treat members of that group as individuals?

      Tucker Carlson is that term.

      “Maybe we’re importing people from places whose values are simply antithetical to ours,” Carlson continued. But isn’t it Carlson who holds views antithetical to American harmony? Perhaps Carlson provides “living proof” that it is dangerous to grant citizenship to San Francisco–born, La Jolla–raised white men.

      If that sounds like a parody of what a “grievance studies” professor would believe, Carlson is the real-life, nativist analogue of that parody, fit for a tenured chair at Trump University. For other examples of his generalizations about foreign-born people, I refer you to his fear-mongering monologue concerning Roma refugees in America and his appearances on a morning radio show, where he called the citizens of Iraq “semiliterate primitive monkeys” for whom he has “zero sympathy.” He has also suggested that immigration “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

      I think Carlson divides America. And I’d rather hear the views of the first 100 immigrants listed in the Boston phone book than those of Carlson and his Fox producers. Many call Carlson’s show “racist,” which I would resist—strictly speaking, it is more accurate to call it xenophobic, animus-filled, prejudicial, poorly reasoned, and bigoted.

      As a natural-born American like Carlson, I hope no one groups us together and makes assumptions about me based on his views. I ask not to be judged for his words.

      • Peggy says:

        Did you watch Carlson’s whole segment? Of course you didn’t. Silly me for even asking. I did. Suggest you watch it and form your own opinion on what he said and stop parroting the opinions’ of others.

        This attack on Carlson is nothing new. It’s something every week against him or someone else on Fox. God forbid anyone express an opinion you all don’t agree with. In your world free speech is only allowed if you agree with it.

        What’s funny is you all are too stupid to realize there are alot of smart people out here who see through what you’re trying to do.

      • Pie Guevara says:

        What a load of crap from a left wing ass AND a left wing ass who sucks this crap up.

        Tucker Carlson is no bigot, the people who call him a bigot are angry turd tossers who could never debate him in person over ANY issue and do no more than make asses of themselves with their idiotic, contrived accusations and demagoguery. Furthermore, unlike EVERY turd on CNN and MSNBC, Tucker Carlson is a person of ethics and integrity.

        Chris is so cute when he attacks the person and not the issue, LIKE ALL PROGS! Keep up the winning way you hapless schlemiel making friends and influencing people! (God, you are such an idiot.)

        • Chris says:

          Welp, you’re the expert debater.

        • Chris says:

          Since the Friedersdorf quote I selected was apparently too long for anyone to read and rebut, allow me to highlight the most important (and uncontroversial) observation within it:

          What’s a term to describe someone who insists that whole groups of people are bad in the same way, and ceases to treat members of that group as individuals?

          Tucker Carlson is that term.

          Pie and Peggy, exactly what part of that do you take issue with? Are you denying that Tucker took one individual immigrant and used her to make a generalized statement about immigrants as a whole?

          Or are you denying that this is the textbook definition of bigotry?

          And as a side note, how long can you pretend that your objection is merely to “illegal immigrants” when your intellectual and political leaders—from Tucker to Trump—constantly bash legal immigrants like this and use them to argue that we should accept fewer legal immigrants? How long can you deny the bigotry problem within your party when you find yourselves needing to define stereotype-based judgments and obviously racist sentiments such as “Go back to your own country” as somehow non-bigoted?

  2. Pie Guevara says:

    3) Progressivism. See 1 and 2 above (or any post from the tortured two).

    • Chris says:

      It’s ironic that you’re engaging in sectarianism right now while pretending to decry it. There is nothing in progressivism that naturally tends toward sectarianism and ethnocentrism, any more than there is in conservatism. Right now, the more ethnocentric party is inarguably the Republicans, as led by Donald Trump, who’s motto—“America First”—is the very epitome of ethnocentrism. But that wasn’t always the case—the Democrats used to be the more ethnocentric party.

      It’s sad that Jack posted an article about the divisiveness and distrust in our country and your response was to post more divisiveness and distrust of anyone who disagrees with you.

  3. Chris says:

    . Social networks, even reciprocal obligations, can serve causes that are unjust and destructive. Putnam wants to minimize the forms and functions of social capital that promote “sectarianism, ethnocentrism, corruption” and bolster those that encourage “mutual support, cooperation, trust, institutional effectiveness.” Trump’s 4th of July parade was designed to generate pride, trust and support. Did it meet its goals? If not, what would you suggest?

    Unfortunately it’s too late for Trump to do anything to generate pride, trust, and support among the Americans he’s alienated over the past few years. He is too divisive. He has never made an attempt to reach anyone but his own base and refuses to change negative behavior that may lead those in the middle to trust and support him.

    His speech was surprisingly nonpartisan but couldn’t be taken seriously because we know what he really cares about is what kind of media attention he’s getting and which celebrities do and don’t support him. He was railing against Fox News, of all places, this week because one segment out of a hundred gave him unfavorable coverage.

    Your definitions of ethnocentrism and sectarianism are good, and unfortunately those are the values that Trump has promoted. He opened his campaign with “When Mexico sends its people, they aren’t sending their best” and then repeated over and over again the Nazi lie that he saw thousands of Muslims cheering 9/11 in New Jersey. He advocated banning all Muslims from immigrating to the US, a motive that was no doubt still in his mind when he passed a travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries without consulting the Pentagon. He implemented a family separation policy that dehumanizes people for committing a misdemeanor offense that wasn’t even treated as a criminal one for most of our country’s history.

    • Peggy says:

      Chris, “He has never made an attempt to reach anyone but his own base and refuses to change negative behavior that may lead those in the middle to trust and support him.”

      Liar!

      Trump spend Christmas alone in the WH during the shutdown waiting for Pelosi and other Dems to meet him to work things out. She however was on her annual vacation in Hawaii and another group went on a junket to Puerto Rico. He’s attempted to work thing out many times, while Nancy says no to everything to keep him from scoring a win. Remember, “No money for the wall.”

      Trump Cancels Florida Christmas Trip Over Shutdown – Nancy Pelosi Vacations in Hawaii:
      https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/12/trump-cancels-florida-trip-for-shutdown-nancy-pelosi-vacations-in-hawaii/

      • Chris says:

        I wasn’t talking about his negotiations with Congress, Peggy, I’m talking about outreach to the country. In his rhetoric he is constantly creating an Us vs Them dichotomy and bashing his political rivals and critics in ways that any prior president would have seen as unprofessional and unpresidential. You are ignoring this obvious fact in order to cherry-pick, and I’m not having that.

        • Peggy says:

          What do you want Chris, a personal handwritten note from the man? He’s not the one dividing this country, your party is with its constant attacks directed at him and anyone who supports him. We don’t hate you and your party, but you sure do show your contempt for us. Trump fights back when he’s attacked. He doesn’t swing first and has been called a counter-puncher. My God people are afraid to wear a MAGA hat because of the physical attacks against those who have.

          No past president has been attacked to the degree Trump has. Not even Lincoln or Reagan. Your party has a problem with not getting what you want all of the time. You all need to stop trying to rig the next election so you’ll be guaranteed to win and accept the results of the 2016 election and work with the man.

          I believe Obama said something like, elections have consequences, and I won you lost. Doesn’t sound like he tried working with those across the aisle or did he by lying to the country about his ObamaCare coast, keep our plans and coverage.

          You don’t like the way the man behaves, then stop attacking and fighting him and start working with him. Look what Van Jones, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West accomplished with Trump’s support.

          • Chris says:

            No past president has been attacked to the degree Trump has. Not even Lincoln

            The bottom country up and left and then attacked the top half because Lincoln was elected president. Then he was murdered.

            What a silly, unserious, self-refuting thing for you to say.

            “Who started it” is a ridiculous question. It’s the content of the attacks that matter. Trump has insulted POWs saying he prefers people who don’t get captured, called multiple Republican women ugly, suggested many of his accusers were too ugly to rape, said that the mother of a Gold Star parent might not have been allowed to speak, lied about seeing thousands of Muslims cheering 9/11 in New Jersey, lied for years about having evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, lied about Ted Cruz’s father having something to do with the murder of JFK, accused a judge of being biased against him because he was Mexican, told non-white members of Congress who were born here to go back to their own country, called a football player a “son of a bitch” and said he should be fired for disagreeing with him, called the press the “enemy of the people,” threw his attorney general under the bus for not breaking the law for him and then fired him for that same reason, and lied about his predecessor wiretapping his office. And that’s the short list.

            Presidents don’t do this, Peggy. At least, they didn’t used to. So save your false equivalences. Obama was better than this. So were the Bushes. So was Clinton. So was Reagan. A psychologically healthy person can admit this without their worldview crumbling. Can you?

      • Chris says:

        Since you’re calling me a liar, Peggy, are you ready to withdraw your false claim that Obama got more Pinocchios from the WaPo than Trump? How about your false claim that Obama raised the deficit, when in fact he lowered the deficit while raising the debt?

        • Peggy says:

          Nope. I stand by what I said.

          • Chris says:

            Well, then you are mistaken, plain and simple. The Washington Post awarded more Pinocchios to Trump than to Obama. That is a fact. Obama raised the debt but reduced the deficit. That is also a fact. Had you admitted you were mistaken about these facts, that would be one thing. But that you continue to deny these facts after being confronted with proof makes you a liar.

    • Chris says:

      As I said:

      “When I ultimately leave office in six years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding), they will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public. That’s why they will all be Endorsing me at some point, one way or the other. Could you imagine having Sleepy Joe Biden, or Alfred E. Newman……or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas (1/1024th), as your President, rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius! Sorry to say that even Social Media would be driven out of business along with, and finally, the Fake News Media!”

      https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1149345680189722630?s=21

      Your judges and tax cuts can’t be worth this…nonsense. This daily disgrace of the office.

  4. Chris says:

    For some reason the first comment I posted here is gone. Also, half the time I try to comment now I get a message saying the connection timed out.

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