The Changing Nature of the American Community

By January 13th, 2014

Even If We Don’t Know Their Names – The Changing Nature of the American Community (ies); Percentage of Americans Living In Gated Communities – Fear of Violent Crime.

by Mack W. Borgen

                                                           THE RELEVANCE OF REASON

                      The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America

Book One Presents the Facts and Data Relating to U.S. Business and Politics (July, 2013) (408)

Book Two Presents the Facts and Data Relating to U.S. Society and Culture (October, 2013) (438 pp).

NOTE: Although these books are companion books, they have been written as independent, “stand-alone” books. They can be read together or separately depending upon the breadth or focus of one’s interest.

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                “…(A)stonishing undertaking…” Brigadier General Dulaney O’Roark, (Ret), Louisville, Kentucky

       “…(R)e-opens the doors to civil dialogue,’ Martha Lange, The Aspen Institute, Santa Barbara, California

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Order The Relevance of Reason - Business and Politics (2013)

                                             The Changing Nature of The American Community(ies)

Over especially the last several decades there has developed in this country a certain lightness in the nature, the range, and the depth of our associations with one another. Unsurprisingly, there has occurred a profound diminishment in our sense of and ties to the American community.

At first glance, it is not surprising that we gravitate to like-minded folks with shared commonalities of interests, opinions, or beliefs. However, more and more (except when forced by the demands of our business or commerce), we associate only, if not almost exclusively, with those of shared ethnicities, religions, political views, or generational associations. In a related phenomenon, some Americans, whether as a matter of frustration, opportunism, or out of a mere sense of hip style, feel free and wholly unconstrained from constantly re-defining themselves. With0ut looking back, some Americans almost routinely change their identify and the very depth and nature of their associations with others. In the wired, hyper-mobile America of the 21st Century, these new identities allow can be used to avoid or supplant the harder work which is necessary for the construction and preservation of what used to be called communities.

For some, chatrooms, the twitterverse, and Facebook define the new boundaries of their American communities. Internet cafes are the new front porches. Chatrooms are the new book clubs. Tweets and text messages are both the desired means and the desired depth of their conversations. For others, a different kind of closedness has been erected. Doors are bolted and community gates are erected. Strangers are viewed with a certain restraint, if not caution, until more is known of their background; their beliefs; their intentions; and their interests. Buzzwords are awaited; bumper stickers are scrutinized; judgments are quickly made and friendships are withheld since — almost always — more must be known. With our time being deemed so precious and with our family and assets being deemed potentially at risk, strangers are (and can remain) just that. For years. Without much thought and shouldering little sense of obligation, the hard work of forging any wide, let alone national, community seems at best to be challenging. At worst, it seems impossible, dangerous, or even irrelevant.

But neither technology n or the social restraints and in-bred fears of modern life can fully replace America. Begrudgingly or otherwise, we are still “in” America. This will not change. We are still a piece, our own piece of this country. America. It remains ours. Except for a few survivalists in the back woods, we are still affected by the actions of our fellow Americans–even if we don’t know their names; even if we don’t have their email address. The commonality of Americans will always prevail and, for example, although drastic changes need to be made in order to diminish the manner and extent of money upon our political processes, that guy in Dutch Harbor will always have the same power of vote as the guy in Key West.


Based upon excerpts from Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason, Business and Politics and Society and Culture, (2013) p. 24-25.

                                                               Facts of the Day

                Growing Percentage of Americans Living in Gates Communities

Currently appr. 10% of Americans live in gated communities, and this 2009 percentage reflects a 53% increase over the percentage of Americans living in gated communities in 2001. The Week, April 13, 2012, p. 20,citing The New York Times.

                                           Fear of Violent Crime in American Society 

According to a recent poll, the following percentages of respondents identified these places as those which they most worried about being a victim of a violent crime:

Place                                                             Percentage of Respondents

Bad Neighborhoods                                                                44%

Theatres, Stadiums, and Theme Parks                                14%

Airplanes, Subways, and Buses                                              8%

At Home                                                                                      5%

At School                                                                                     4%

The 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll, Vanity Fair, April, 2013, p. 68.

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