Wuhan & The Disappearance of Social Trust

Social trust is the residual leftover in any given culture as existing from the general good will that exists among the citizenry. Such good will and the consequent social trust is built up by the commonalities that exist among any given people group. For example, people with a shared culture, shared ethnicity, shared history, shared language, shared religion, and shared worldview have a higher social trust quotient than exists among people groups who are culturally, ethnically, linguistically, and historical diverse. This is a theme that was addressed by Robert Putnam in his landmark book, “Bowling Alone.”

“Immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighborhoods residents of all races tend to `hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer.”

Robert Putnam
E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century
The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture

What Putnam is describing here is the disappearance of social trust.

Now, combine the reality of the diminution of social trust as combined with some kind of societal or cultural crisis and the result is “each man teaches and each man believes what is right in his own eyes,” which in turns results in there being no possibility of social stability in light of whatever crisis is at hand.

Take the current Wuhan crisis. Because social trust has been so damaged in our culture with the multi-versity of epistemologies, historiographies, cultures, ideologies, theologies, and worldviews and the result is that there is no way that any macro account of the Wuhan crisis can be accepted on a societal wide basis. The social trust that might lend credence to such a macro account is exhausted. Given our Government track record for over a century of lying, given the clear cultural Marxist agenda that all major media outlets have, given the fact that science and scientists are as unreliable as a castrated rooster, given that Churches and denominations are led by the most dimwitted and tunneled vision among us, given our businessmen and corporate heads excel only at being shysters, given that there is very little social glue that holds our multicultural society together the result is that social trust is non-existent. I know I don’t trust what the President is telling me about Wuhan. I don’t trust the Media’s lies. I don’t trust self-serving politicians (excuse the tautology). I don’t trust the clergy because they are routinely a stupid stupid class of people. And you know what? I’m not unusual when it comes to my lack of social trust.

So, what Wuhan has uncovered again is that getting cheap goods at Wal-Marx alone cannot be the basis upon which a society can adhere. Cheap goods in the Market place does not lend itself to social trust. Social trust can only be recovered by building anew the mystic chords of memory which are passed on from every generation to every consequent generation of a particular ethnic people who own a shared belief-system. Social trust can only be regained when the theo-cultural strands that bind us are woven anew. Social trust can only be regained when lying no longer is considered a virtue that can build political consensus.

When social trust evaporates completely then all that is left as a tie to bind strangers together sharing the same geographical space is naked force. At some point harangues from America’s pulpits on the necessity to just “love” everybody, lectures from “intellectuals” on how “diversity is our strength,” will not be able to bridge the gap between strangers who have next to nothing in common. Not even a shared fear as manipulated by the Feds or the Media will serve as the coin of social trust for very long.

Our dangers as a country are far deeper than the Wuhan virus, far greater than an economy on the lip of the abyss, and far more serious than the loss of liberties Americans have always owned as our birthright. Our penultimate problem is the evaporation of social trust.

Our ultimate problem is that we have rebelled against Christ and His Word.

That ultimate problem always, without fail, leads to the dissipation and finally elimination of social trust.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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