Saturday, June 24, 2006

Social isolation in the modern world.

I'm not surprised to see this. The problem is not, as the article suggests, solely commuter culture (although that is certainly a contributor). The problem is that citizens in modern societies don't have a choice. Labour protections are laughable, there are no guaranteed wages (nor housing nor food nor ...), and one basically must take whatever job one can get and live wherever one can afford. When choice is limited, this will inculcate isolationism as a means of protecting and controlling what little one actually has power (never mind authority) over.

I suspect that this is also responsible for the more cutthroat office politics that seems to be arising as well. If all I can control is the paper supply cabinet, then everyone who wants into it will have to sign their life away and promise me their first-born child.

The solution, of course, would require significant government intervention through an activated and engaged citizenry demanding the right to live and work where they choose, and thus to form communities as they need to. This would be expensive but, given that we seem to be running out of the resources (particularly oil) necessary to sustain our current socioeconomic cultural structures, we may as well get started now.

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