posts 31 - 38 of 38
sleepypanda
Posts: 19

Trust and lack of it

There are definitely people who do not have trust in society in this moment of time, especially with how Covid is being handled and George Floyd’s death. Brooks defines social trust as “the confidence that other people will do what they ought to do most of the time”. With Covid especially, I don’t see this happening- something as simple as wearing a mask to protect each other has become a political issue. More importantly, our president has been downplaying the seriousness of Covid, yet when he tested positive, he was first in line to get the best treatment and drugs available. My grandfather tested positive for covid back in May, and was part of the clinical trial for Remdesivir, which is also one of the treatments Trump received. At the time, this treatment was only available to those with quite severe cases of covid. Besides how covid was handled, there are also plenty of problems, with police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement taking front-seat.


I would say whether we are at a pivot or decline really depends on how we handle everything going on in both our society and the world right now. There is quite a lot of mistrust toward our systems, with how Breonna Taylor’s case has dragged on and ended with a less than satisfactory result, with the hundreds of thousands of covid related deaths, and with our selection of president. Brooks writes, “for centuries, America was the greatest success on earth, a nation of steady progress, dazzling achievement and growing international power,” and I think it held true for a period of time, but shutdowns during the pandemic have really revealed issues that have been going under the radar. As Brooks had put it, “the rot in our structures spreads to a rot in ourselves”. I wouldn’t say we live in the “age of disappointment”, since we can see my generation is getting more involved with politics, hosting protests, advocating for what they believe in. We aren’t in the most ideal place, but what our generation has been doing does leave one more optimistic for the future.


Yuval Levin, a political analyst, argues that in high-trust eras, people have more of a “first- person- plural instinct to ask ‘What can we do?’ In a lower-trust era…there is a greater instinct to say, ‘They’re failing us.’ We see ourselves as outsiders to the systems”, which I agree with, and what we have seen during this pandemic supports it too. More high-trust societies have handled covid more quickly and neatly, whereas America took longer and had a more individualistic approach.

sleepypanda
Posts: 19

Originally posted by berry on October 14, 2020 23:41

I think many people don’t have trust in society and our government. False information can be easily spread through the media. A lot of our leaders, even some of the most powerful, have shown that they can’t be trusted. The government and its institutions that are supposed to protect all the American people have failed to do so especially this year. The killing of George Floyd, and the over 200,000 Americans dead from COVID are some examples that have contributed to many’s fear. I think many Americans are scared of getting the Coronavirus, or giving it to their family members who are at high risk. The Coronavirus has been poorly handled by Donald Trump, who admitted to knowing about the virus in January. I don’t blame many for being fearful and distrustful, when we have a President who spreads false information about COVID and puts peoples lives at risk. Black people and POC are fearful for their lives especially when those whose duty it is to protect are killing them unjustly. In David Brooks’ article he states, “In the age of disappointment, our sense of safety went away. Some of this is physical insecurity: school shootings, terrorist attacks, police brutality, and overprotective parenting at home that leaves young people incapable of handling real-world stress. But the true insecurity is financial, social, and emotional”. I agree with this statement, these are all examples of why we are fearful and insecure. I think we have grown up in the age of disappointment, and I think we have been living through a decline. However, I think the decline is coming to an end soon and am hopeful Gen Z will help to pivot society. I agree with @gibby when they say this period of distrust will eventually lead to an improved society, but for now we have to accept society as it is. Eventually (and hopefully) we’ll reach a point where our pushing for change will lead to an actual change for the better.

I totally agree that the way we handled Covid19 was terrible, especially with how it was and is being downplayed. As someone who helped with translating hospital calls for my parents back in May and June, when my grandfather was hospitalized due to Covid, I found it ridiculous that it was being downplayed, and there were people refusing to wear masks. And the fact that they were saying it was restricting their breathing and rights, was appalling to me, since they would be risking others. Also, if they did get a severe case like my grandfather, they would be having an even more difficult time, and may even end up having to reply on a machine to help them breathe.

TraderJoe's
Posts: 21
First off, I 've always overlooked importance of trust within a society because at face value, the most important concepts within a society is diversified economy, human rights/needs, but I never thought to put trust on that list.

Do you think that people are operating in this moment as they seem to be because they do not have trust in—that they instead distrust--society?

Yes. For sure. Honestly who wouldn't be distrustful as of right now? From the article, I read that 10% of GenZ trust that a politician will do the right thing. Although it's pathetic, the lack of trust is deserved from Trump's presidency, police brutality and the way it's been handled, and the ever growing gap of economic inequality. A particular quote that I found interesting was "We were naive about what the globalized economy would do to the working class, naive to think the internet would bring us together, naive to think the global mixing of people would breed harmony, naive to think the privileged wouldn’t pull up the ladders of opportunity behind them." The author suggests that this sort of blind trust we used to have in each other is gone as a result of poor conditions and how untrusting the world is, especially for marginalized people.

How do you respond to the question Brooks asks: are we living through a pivot or a decline?

I think at face value, we are most definitely in decline (COVID-19, Trump's tax fraud, in reference to the article "financial, emotional, and social insecurity"). But being an optimist, I want to believe that the GenZ's lack of trust in politicians and Baby Boomers increases trust amongst other GenZ and forms a sense of unity. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend phenomenon) I see a decline in current society as of right now, but with that, I see a pivot in trust amongst GenZ. The app TikTok brought together a community of teenagers and the platform can be used for productive discussions, an increase in community bonding ---> increase in trust.

When you hear “the United States is the greatest nation in the world” or as Brooks writes “for centuries, America was the greatest success on earth, a nation of steady progress, dazzling achievement and growing international power,”what do you think?

Oh god. I can see how an outsider or someone from another country could be saying that, but I strongly doubt that other Americans share the same view. The American Dream is widely broadcasted to other countries, marketing America as some sort of haven on Earth where success is guaranteed. But living in America and growing up with immigrant parents, I know that the American Dream is one that only applies to white straight men. It's a lie amongst many others that politicians use to rally up supporters.

In his article, Brooks provides Americans with many reasons as to why social trust is declining, (failure of society and institutions, marginalized people have it more difficult making it harder to trust, insecurity (financial, emotional, and social) and all of his points ring true to what our society has come today. For the most part, I agree that social trust is in decline, and as a result societal institutions fail and there's a lack of community. However, I think and hope that the communal distrust of the nation and its politicians among GenZ, unites the generation as a whole.


The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Lowkey

I agree with almost everything that was said in this article, and honestly it seems like only people in the middle of the political spectrum are able to see this happening on both sides. Either way, it definitely is true that people are acting with distrust towards our institutions and society as a whole, especially the younger generation--us. ESPECIALLY in 2020; we have seen teenagers practically become for politicians (or ones who aspire to be) vouch for things like abolishment of entire institutions, as well as others who want even less gov regulation and those who want to make those institutions even strong; and of course, the extremes of both sides. I think we're in a pivot, definitely not a decline. I like to believe our generation is among one of the smartest, active, and most engaging ones, particularly when it comes to politics as well. Plus, just like Brooks alluded to in his article, things like these periods of time happen every 60 years or so, I just believe this one is going to make our generation even stronger. However, as of late, it seems to have caused more division amongst people than in recent history.

In our COVID age, society is definitely in a low-trust era, and it makes sense. Every move that the government makes is analyzed down to the tee, and people hyperfixate on what they're doing wrong (or right) and constantly argue about it; that's what the teenage political climate seems to be, at least. When their mistakes are amplified as they have been with George Floyd, BLM protests, COVID, and whatever else 2020 has thrown at us, I can definitely see why people say that the government is failing us, so I think Yuval is right.

withered wojak
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

Neoliberal Society and its Future

So with everything that's going on in this country; the internal strife following the botched corona-virus response, the killings of unarmed black Americans, the massive wealth gap we are seeing, and all of these corrupt officials, it's unsurprising that people are losing trust in the government. However, this has been happening on both sides of the aisle, the people to the left and to some degree, people to the right of our neoliberal population have held distrust in our government for a while. With everything that's happening and as American's start to look for alternatives to our current neoliberal system, it is fair to say that there is distrust in our government and society as a whole. Every civilization will have it's decline (except the British Empire). This is not America's. While it seems like it is, as long as there is the continued peaceful transfer of power after a fair election, I believe that America will remain. This situation right now is a pivot. We are moving, hopefully in the right direction, away from same-old same-old politicians and towards new left wing ones. I believe that a move to the left would solve every issue I listed above. Ending union busting should lower wealth inequality as the market becomes more regulated as well. A left leaning president or even a centrist one like Biden would've at least had a response to the pandemic. A heavily authoritarian/fascist-adjacent person like Trump can't acknowledge that nature is above him because he must be the super man who leads us forward. As for whether or not we are the greatest nation in the world, I wonder what it means to measure greatness. Is it how our people live or what we've accomplished? I believe a country's greatness in the short term is measured by how their citizens live (like is there lots of poverty). However, in the long term, a country's greatness is measured by its accomplishments. When you think back to the empires of Rome or England during the Industrial Revolution, you think of what they accomplished. I don't think of how many people were dirt poor, but rather their inventions and the wars they've won. When I think back to the Soviet Union, I don't usually think of how they went from a farming country to a world super power in 50 years, but rather how authoritarian they were or how poor people were. So on the question of is America the greatest country in the world, yes. I do believe that history will look back on America and see us as a great civilization. However, in the short term, America is a joke. Our politicians are corrupt, our citizens starve and are homeless, and we have a clown in office. As an English teacher said, we are being set up for failure. Just like the Millennials, we are so screwed once we get into the job market. This wealth inequality is mind boggling and with automation being already here, most of us will be living horribly until we force the idea of UBI or increase welfare. This distrust didn't start with George Floyd or with Coronavirus, they're just symptoms. America has had these issues for a while. George Floyd's fate is similar to so many others; death by class traitors. Coronavirus is an odd symptom because it's a new broken part in an already broken system. When our people are so divided into thinking that human lives are a partisan issue, that is when we know that the problem has gone on for far too long and we need solutions. Moving left is the only solution.

The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

!!!

Originally posted by sleepypanda on October 15, 2020 07:35

Originally posted by berry on October 14, 2020 23:41

I think many people don’t have trust in society and our government. False information can be easily spread through the media. A lot of our leaders, even some of the most powerful, have shown that they can’t be trusted. The government and its institutions that are supposed to protect all the American people have failed to do so especially this year. The killing of George Floyd, and the over 200,000 Americans dead from COVID are some examples that have contributed to many’s fear. I think many Americans are scared of getting the Coronavirus, or giving it to their family members who are at high risk. The Coronavirus has been poorly handled by Donald Trump, who admitted to knowing about the virus in January. I don’t blame many for being fearful and distrustful, when we have a President who spreads false information about COVID and puts peoples lives at risk. Black people and POC are fearful for their lives especially when those whose duty it is to protect are killing them unjustly. In David Brooks’ article he states, “In the age of disappointment, our sense of safety went away. Some of this is physical insecurity: school shootings, terrorist attacks, police brutality, and overprotective parenting at home that leaves young people incapable of handling real-world stress. But the true insecurity is financial, social, and emotional”. I agree with this statement, these are all examples of why we are fearful and insecure. I think we have grown up in the age of disappointment, and I think we have been living through a decline. However, I think the decline is coming to an end soon and am hopeful Gen Z will help to pivot society. I agree with @gibby when they say this period of distrust will eventually lead to an improved society, but for now we have to accept society as it is. Eventually (and hopefully) we’ll reach a point where our pushing for change will lead to an actual change for the better.

I totally agree that the way we handled Covid19 was terrible, especially with how it was and is being downplayed. As someone who helped with translating hospital calls for my parents back in May and June, when my grandfather was hospitalized due to Covid, I found it ridiculous that it was being downplayed, and there were people refusing to wear masks. And the fact that they were saying it was restricting their breathing and rights, was appalling to me, since they would be risking others. Also, if they did get a severe case like my grandfather, they would be having an even more difficult time, and may even end up having to reply on a machine to help them breathe.

I know exactly what you mean! My grandmother also had COVID when it was in its earliest stages of overtaking the U.S, and having it constantly downplayed when I had witnessed its very effects in front of my eyes was certainly very frustrating. And on top of that, it's almost like some people wanted to display their ignorance to the world because parties, meetups, and things of that nature continued and STILL continue happening, despite all that we've learned. Certainly an "age of disappointment" if you ask me.

TraderJoe's
Posts: 21

Originally posted by Fireheart on October 14, 2020 22:43

The pessimistic side of me wants to say that, yes, we are currently in a state of decline. I’d like to think, however, towards my future and say that, no, we’re making more of a pivot towards progress, and that voice pops up again like, “Do you really think anything significant is going to happen?” At times it feels as though, we’re just going backwards and really undoing all of these “dazzling achievements” that America is known for. Really when anyone even mentions how “the United States is the greatest nation in the world”, my first instinct is to scoff. I feel like some people would see that as disrespectful or like I’m not proud to be American, and in some ways, I guess that’s true. I don’t think that that is what America is right now, as much as certain people may push that idea. I see myself as American, and I do have love for this country, but it’s also sort of that tough-love kind of mentality. I feel like we’ve been complacent in recent years and that we’ve allowed so many issues and problems to fester, and it's just now all coming to the surface, all at once. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, but that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored or painted over.

I feel as though I have grown up in this “age of disappointment” so to say, and I’m still growing there now. Like, I don’t remember being as aware when I was younger, which I think a lot of people can understand. But now that I’m older, I’m just realizing, like, “Wow, this isn’t what I thought it would be like” and “I thought we were past this”. I really wasn’t prepared for these realities and it’s more about the world around than myself. When I was growing up, the only time I learned about people or countries other than America, was in a history school in class. All issues and obstacles I’ve faced, can’t even be compared to those of others that I’m just learning about and being made aware of. I really grew up with this limited, circular, view in which all I saw, were the things that affected me and my family in my small bubble of comfort. Getting outside of this bubble was really jarring, but it was also a learning experience for me. I think that a lot of people, like me, were really forced to see how certain groups of people have been unnecessarily facing injustices. I just remember feeling so angry and disappointed with myself, being a person of color, and not really knowing all that was happening in this country the last few years. This past summer was a time of reflection and educating myself, which I think was really necessary.

At the same time, I do have that sort of mentality of ‘They’re failing us.’ I know that there are things that I can do to make change and to play my part in helping to move towards progress. At the same time, I feel very disheartened and discouraged by what I see and I feel as though my actions won’t make much of an impact when it comes to the long run. I agree with @gibby society has sort of lost this trust because the system has failed us so many times. We see these horrible acts of injustice occur with little to no consequence, and it really sets an example and just shows how little care there is for certain people in this country. As much as I’d like to be hopeful for the future, I can’t help but to expect the worst: disappointment.

I completely agree with your statement that "They're failing us." I hear way too often from adults that is now our responsibility to fix what the adults have messed up. It's on us to fix climate change that big corporations led by adults have caused, to change and reform a police system, and to essentially "fight for what we believe." In some sense, I find it empowering but for the most part, it's so tiring because I didn't get to have the ignorance is bliss type of adolescence because I was exposed to some issue going on in the country.

slothman
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 23

Distrust is strong

I do agree with this statement, that "people are operating in this moment as they seem to be because they do not have trust in—that they instead distrust--society." As I read through my peer and their responses to this question, a few major things that I was going to bring up was similarly brought up by them. People do not trust our society, we haven't for quite a while but especially 2020. 2020 has been one of the most eventful years in quite some time. The major reason for this, obviously, is COVID-19. Covid took the world by storm, and I remember my past self in the middle of March thinking, "oh this will all be over in 2 weeks, ill be back here in April." I was wrong, its no towards the end of 2020 and I wouldn't be surprised if I don't go to class in school until 2021. Anyway, covid has reeked havoc, questions, disputes, and poverty into America, as well as several other countries. So many people are clueless in their life because they don't know who to believe, they don't know who to go to. It was told from the government that this would not last thing long, lie. It is also said by the government that a vaccine with be out by the end of this year, and the amount of people who don't believe that is staggering. The plain fact that we people don't believe what our government tells us will happen shows some major distrust in our society.

I'd like to think right now we are living through a pivot and not a decline. If certain things are changed in this country and the truth comes out and stays out, we as a country can recover. America has been through a lot, and although this is something that can change a country permanently, I think we can overcome and make it through most of this.

The USA is not the greatest nation in the world, no. At some point in time America was known as the place where you could achieve your hopes and dreams and make it a reality. That no longer holds, I personally think there are many countries above the US in several standards. Sure we have the biggest military, but that obviously is not close to as important as health care and even everybody being able to eat and have a place to sleep in.

The age of disappointment can be debatable. There are many benefits I know have that my ancestors did not, but at the same time there are disadvantages I have now. For example, look at our earth, it tearing apart. Climate change, pollution, and global warming are becoming a problem of great magnitude, and not nearly enough people care to even think about using a recycling bin. The world that we now have for our generation is a mess. But at the same time there are so many opportunities we have now that our ancestors don't thanks to technology, trade, transport, and education.

posts 31 - 38 of 38