Essay On Mediating Institutions

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The current decline in mediating institutions is unsustainable because it creates a dangerous positive feedback loop of greater federal government power and individualism and weakens the very institutions that are necessary for creating a free society. Without middle institutions, people are left “without even local, interpersonal instructions to fall back on, since these have now been enervated for a century” (100). People now instead turn to government solutions instead of intuitions such as family, work, faith, and community. Increasingly, society can be viewed as “consisting only of individuals and a state” (100). This is especially difficult for low-income Americans as they are “more isolated- economically, culturally, and socially- than they used to be in America” (126). Disconnect from the mediating structure is one of the main reasons for entrenched poverty in America (132). A continued loss of mediating institutions will continue and worsen this cycle of poverty. The effects of hyper-individualism and consolidation are not only felt by…show more content…
Community gives us “specific tangible connections with particular others” (181). By going out and making a difference in the lives of the people around us through common actions, “it can help us see the limits of both radical individualism and hyper-centralization” (204). This is one of the most important factors of community and civic engagement because it actively combats the two main factors attacking mediating institutions. It is also important for the helping people to learn to put their freedom in practice (204). This can be used to prepare people “for the burdens of liberty” (204). The decline in community prevents us from seeing the solutions needed to combat the problems of our times and creates individuals who are not ready for the burdens of a free society, making the current trend

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