The Blindness of Social Wealth

Every social thinker since antiquity has complained that contemporaneous society was in descent.
The philosopher of history Oswald Spengler, who stressed destiny over causality, characterized The Decline of the West (1926) as the final stage in the evolutionary cycle of culture and civilization, during which “Late-Classical man [re]turns to the practice of the cults … dispense[s] with proof, [and] desire[s] only to believe and not to dissect.”
More recent thinkers have stressed causality over destiny. In the 1990s, the sociologist Robert Putnam launched his now-famous Bowling Alone (2000) thesis, which sought to explain the apparent decline of civic engagement, and with it, the decline of social

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