In a postmodern era that brackets God and perceives all values and norms as
equally subjective, social bonds have attenuated. Already Daniel Bell pointed
out in The Cultural Contradictions of
Capitalism (1976) that the contemporary crisis of civilization reflects a
lack of a transcendentally grounded ethic, a public philosophy, and a sustaining
religious faith. Science, technology, trade, and communications now drive all
aspects of life in the global village, with novel challenges for both
individuals and societal institutions. Critics like Simon Head in Mindless
(2014) contend that “smarter machines are making dumber humans.” Paradoxically,
in an era of instant communications, people have great difficulty in
establishing and sustaining meaningful relationships. The Internet and social
media in particular tend to erase the boundary between the private and the
public. The breakdown of the traditional family--the basic building block of
society--is a growing concern, chronicled in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart
(2013). The prospect of atomized individuals in a mass society tethered to a
materialistic worldview, who can be manipulated easily by commercial interests
or political ideologies, defines a new vulnerability, with far-reaching
consequences for society, at home and abroad. The central question, then, is:
How to re-establish the proper balance between self and society, the private and
the public? Can the major social institutions--the family, civil society,
education, business, and government--be re-invented to further both freedom and
FREEDOM & VIRTUE:
Re - Inventing Free Institutions
in an Era of Globalization
April 30, 2016. Send
3 both-sided copies of: 15-25 page mss., each with a 150-word Abstract, typed, double-spaced, in-text
citation format, author identification on a separate sheet (with postage for mss.
return/SASE) to: Dr. O. Gruenwald, JIS Editor, IIR, 1065 Pine Bluff Dr., Pasadena,
CA 91107, USA. Early mss.
Inquiries: info @ jis3.org. See also Mss.
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