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The Big Answer


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The Future Is Not What It Used To Be: Returning to Traditional Values in an Age of Scarcity

a book by Warren A. Johnson

(our site's book review)

Johnson waxes nostalgic about traditional values in an age of scarcity. He cites the advantages of small towns and socialization patterns of the past. He laments the new values in which: “Our homes are meant to reflect our individuality and our achievements rather than our membership in a community. Abandoned this way, communities have deteriorated to the point where they are seen as a hostile element, as something that can only interfere with our private interests rather than something that adds to our lives.”

This heroic individualist may have been one of the truths of our past, but . . .
This heroic individualist may have been one of the truths of our past, but . . .


He existed in and was part of a context of close-knit communities, both stationary and on the move
He existed in and was part of a context of close-knit communities, both stationary and on the move

Old, close-knit neighborhoods reflected a pragmatic, “we live next to them so we’d better make the best of it” attitude, while today’s diversification-honoring socialization patterns include more networking and less local interfacing. This leads to more cocooning—keeping snug and safe in one’s nest as one doesn’t feel familiar or even safe around the people and houses in the neighborhood, since one’s socialization targets are reached by a drive across town, a phone call, an email or a chat room online. As the Tofflers and William Knoke (author of Bold New World) have said, place has become almost irrelevant. Who, what, when and why matter, but where is a casualty of the network age and the Internet age.

Old, close-knit neighborhoods reflected a pragmatic attitude: 'we live next to them so we’d better make the best of it'
Old, close-knit neighborhoods reflected a pragmatic attitude: "we live next to them so we’d better make the best of it"

The author cites that a good many Americans desire to live in a close-knit community in a small town, but this relates more to what these people nostalgically wish such places were like rather than what they are. Drugs, crime, alienated youth and social problems have not spared small-town America. Johnson, nevertheless, wishes we could somehow return to some of those traditional values and circumstances we left behind. Most Americans would at least partially agree with him, to be sure. Of course, MCs deal with such wishes not via nostalgia, delusions, illusions, and sugar-coating, but by offering an environment combining the best of the old-time values and the best Third Wave parenting and relationship knowledge and the best social networking and people-matching technology. See Why Register for an MC?.

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match