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The Lonely American Dream

Last week an article in The Economist described the worst punishment our society has ever been able to conceive of – solitary confinement. It described a prison in Texas in which Tony Medina, “spends 23 hours inside a concrete box measuring 7 feet by 11 feet.” He is forbidden any human contact. Guards pass trays…

Limitations of identity activism

Challenges lie ahead for today’s activists who still balk at the possibility of initiating unexpected alliances. The sectionalistic few who prefer to lob slogans like “check your privilege” instead of making sincere attempts to ally with their opponents could benefit from a nugget of Putnam’s wisdom. “A society of many virtuous but isolated individuals is not necessarily rich in social capital.”