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View Diary: Taxing the rich: it's not about "fairness" (182 comments)

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  •  Actually, it has (4+ / 0-)

    Asabiya is sometimes seen as a variant of patriotism, and you'll surely agree that America has always had a surfeit of patriotism. However, the word "patriotism" doesn't quite catch the meaning of asabiya; "solidarity" remains the closest match in English. And America had oodles of that. In the colonial period, it was inculcated by the strong sense of isolation and the insecurity against Indian attacks. In the Revolutionary period, it was very high, and indeed it was only the fervor of asabiya that kept the republic together in its earliest, rockiest days.

    The Civil War triggered a bifurcation of asabiya; both sides fought with considerable élan. Afterwards, the settling of the West again fostered a sense of "one for all, all for one" among the pioneers, although that quickly evaporated once things settled down.

    American asabiya went through a low time from, oh, maybe 1880 to 1930; although there was enthusiasm for World War I, it wasn't until the Depression and World War II that Americans once again found their sense of togetherness. This held on through the post-war period until the 60s, when American solidarity collapsed over Vietnam. It has never recovered; there was a brief spike after 9/11, but it was too ephemeral to stick to the ribs. That's why we have so much polarization now; American asabiya is at a fatally low level. As a society, we're rotting.

    •  For another colonial example (0+ / 0-)

      I like the example of colonial schools.  In almost every place people gathered in early America, you could be sure they would build two things - a church and a school.  The teacher was paid by goods produced by the community.  

      I think you may be correct about the low time from 1880 to 1930, but the Populist Party certainly provided a counter-example during that time - for many agrarian communities, it was a high mark of cooperation.  

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