The Floods of Heaven
For twenty years now, the consequences of this course have been hard to see: hard, because whenever the signs of damage appear, the free market was quick to label a “culture of dependence.” A term that originated in the 1970s to attack American blacks’ use of welfare, the term “culture of dependence” has been extended to a broadening sphere of parties that have any relationship with government or law. New Orleanians’ ruined houses were the result of a “culture of dependence” on federal infrastructure funds. Policing the illegal trading of faulty mortgages and bandit short-selling represents a “culture of dependence” on the state. Community organizers, Sarah Palin suggests, instill a “culture of dependence” upon organizations of teachers and workers. Any individual or group with a relationship to government or law – any form of society, that is – stands at risk of imbibing a “culture of dependence.”
A series of shocks are shaking Americans into reconsidering those stories. Disaster, like the sun, falls on the good and the bad alike; provisions against disaster, like a law-abiding financial sector, are a necessity for a functionally operating society.
The more we look at history, the deeper the case of interdependence appears.
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