Having It Both Ways Part 2

The American center-left wants to have a Nordic welfare state, and values diversity, internationality, and self-expression, not realizing that the underlying cultures of the Nordic welfare states are famously homogeneous, insular, and conformist. In other words, Progressives want the benefits of a high trust society without the conditions of a high trust society. Worse, they actively undermine social trust with their efforts to fragment American culture.

The American right is horrified by the idea of a Nordic welfare state, but they long for a more homogeneous and conformist society, the ideal being something along the lines of Utah: small government, burgeoning private charities, lots of capitalism, a culturally dominant church and middle-class habits (all the things the left wants to fragment).

Both right and left imagine that America is a high trust society when it is really a middling-trust society, or rather, is several societies determined by race, class and geography whose trust levels range from very high to very low.

American politics would be healthier if we all realized we can’t have everything both ways.

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