Comments about ‘E. Thomas McClanahan: Social glue starting to come apart in civilization’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Casa Grande, AZ

Being an editor hardly makes someone a good sociologist.

Why single out the poor? They have less than the rich, why does that make them the focus of your rant on the demise of "social glue" ?

That a poor woman doesn't feel like she has to stay with an abusive husband is bad? And if you can watch an episode of Beverly Hill --- and think they are moral is bewildering.

You need to rethink what glue looks like.

American Fork, UT

This is all true, but we still need to look at guns and gun culture as part of the problem.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

This is an interesting start to a conversation that cannot fruitfully be encased in a short editorial. Perhaps I need to read the book mentioned so as to better understand the data behind the proposed civic fraying mentioned. Somehow, combining this editorial with the perennial Christmas favorite Its a Wonderful Life, makes me wonder whether we have seen a decrease in community in favor of more efficient though ultimately less effective approaches towards caring for one another. Lest this be seen as a purely political statement, I wonder about this also in terms of the religious and not-for-profit communities that care for us as well.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"We've moved far beyond that in many ways. In "Coming Apart," Charles Murray writes that the values that once kept lower-income white families together — and buttressed America's prosperity — are dissolving, leaking from low-income America and concentrating in upscale America, where divorce has dropped and out-of-wedlock births are rare."

On thing that even many conservatives pointed out about Charles Murray's book is that he completely ignored all of the economic changes of the past forty years. Back then a male high school graduate could easily find a job that would support a family and buy a house, so that's exactly what they did. That's no longer possible so they don't. Bring back decent working-class jobs and I think many of our social problems would decrease markedly.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

“The glue that holds us together is what scholars call social capital. It fosters families and the voluntary networks that make communities work through cooperation rather than compulsion.”

The reasons we glue ourselves together is for safety, security and progress. Unfortunately these are counter productive to private enterprise commercial business. Business would prefer people to be unorganized, uneducated and unprotected.

It goes back to the jungle where the prey animals lived in herds for safety and the predatory animals strategy was to separate individuals to weaken their defense.

If we would enhance the benefits of civilization we should strengthen the bonds of the group and resist the efforts of the commercial predators to separate and weaken us.

The propaganda that glorifies independence and self reliance often goes too far and denies us the security of the group. We want to be individually free but we should realize that strength for our quest for survival depends on greater strength than we have alone.

The other thing is, we need to use our brain. We need to think about the things people tell us and seek to understand the truth.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I really question the statement that "the values that once kept lower-income white families together — and buttressed America's prosperity — are dissolving, leaking from low-income America and concentrating in upscale America, where divorce has dropped and out-of-wedlock births are rare."

Looking at upscale America -- at least as far upscale as Hollywood might be -- all I seem to see is countless celebrities flaunting their immorality. Just checking out at the grocery store is a disgusting ordeal where we are surrounded by racks of tabloid garbage screaming about the latest great bit of celebrity fame and disgusting behavior.

Even the wealthy among us who are not in Hollywood seem to be allowing their morals to decay rapidly.

Who are the real rocks of American society? May I submit that the middle class who are currently becoming an endangered species just might be the real foundation of America?

Casa Grande, AZ

Lawlessness has a tendency to go with poverty only because there is either no legal infrastructure or the infrastructure doesn't serve the poor well. Our own legal system is terrible if you are poor. Try settling a dispute legally with a $10 and hour job and $500 an hour lawyers.

In every case a formal legal system does not work for the poor they make their own justice system and refuse to work with the formal system as much as they can. Steven Pinker is a real eye opener if you read his books.

Salt Lake City, UT

This editorial is terribly written. When I first started it I thought it was a letter to the editor, and then half way through it was so bad that I looked to see who had written it, and I was surprised to see that it was from an editor of a newspaper.

Mr. McClanahan, your high school english teacher would have given you a D-.

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