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Americans are living through a social crisis. In our politics, it expresses itself in polarization and division. In our culture, it looks like alienation, anger, and despair.
While social analysts blame factors such as rising inequality or liberalism’s collapse, these explanations are incomplete. The missing ingredient, argues AEI’s Yuval Levin, is the dissolution of our institutions and a transformation of what we expect of them. In “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream” (Basic Books, 2020), Dr. Levin explains how institutions have devolved from molds to platforms, fueling cynicism and resentment that leads citizens to rally around firebrands who promise to further shatter these systems.
Join the discussion between AEI’s Timothy P. Carney and Dr. Levin on rejecting the impulse to dismantle institutions in favor of demanding better of those we have.
This audio first appeared at an AEI event held on January 21, 2020, at AEI’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
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