The Examiner recently published a review of America 3.0, and an interview by Dwight L. Schaub with the authors, Jim Bennett and Mike Lotus. The interview included the following passage:
BENNETT & LOTUS – We inherited language and law and political and economic ideas from England, as well as a culture that is capitalistic and individualistic. The foundation for that culture is a type of nuclear family structure which is almost unique in the world, and we still have it, and most people who have settled here have eventually adopted it.
SCHWAB – What is this unique family structure you are talking about?
BENNETT & LOTUS – A lot of things about American families sound normal to Americans, but they are actually very unusual in the world. American parents cannot pick their childrens’ spouses; they don’t have to give them equal inheritances; adult children are expected to marry and form their own homes away from their parents; and we have no extended families in the way they do in many foreign countries.
SCHWAB – Why does it matter that Americans have had this type of family?
BENNETT & LOTUS – It has shaped everything about us, especially by making us independent and enterprising. We are more alone in the world than other people, our parents don’t have to help us, we have no extended families to save us, we make our own marriage choices, our own career choices, we pick our own friends and colleagues, and we have to hustle to succeed.
SCHWAB – Does being individualistic mean that we have to live by the law of the jungle?
BENNETT & LOTUS – No. Part of the genius of America has been being individualistic but also willing and able to cooperate freely and a high degree of trust with others, to create businesses and other types of voluntary organizations. And there is a role for government, but it will have to be smaller, less intrusive, more efficient, and less centralized in the future. Government will adapt to America 3.0, just as we and our children will.
Thanks to the Examiner and to Dwight Schwab for the review and interview.
3 thoughts on “<em>Examiner</em> Review of <em>America 3.0</em> and Interview with Jim Bennett and Mike Lotus”
I still think Americans are selected for individualism by the restlessness and willingness to migrate of our ancestors. Those selected for passive acceptance of the social order, stayed at home. Visit Ireland and talk to a few residents and they will tell you that. And they don’t like it much. They aren’t that happy to have prosperous American Irish visiting the remains after “the cream left.” That’s a direct quote, by the way.
MikeK, this process certainly happened. Americans are the most extreme examples. Notably, the sea migration of the Saxons and Angles and Jutes 1,500 years ago was a similar sorting process. But compared to the rest of the world, the entire Anglosphere looks weirdly individualistic.
Except the Mexicans. I have nothing against them but they can go back and forth and do so. The other immigrants sacrificed the opportunity to return. Some Italians did return but most European and Asian immigrants were one way.
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