- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, like many combat vets, he looks at his society through a new, skeptical lens. This short interview is well worth reading.
I think we’re all conditioned to think that modern society is the culmination of centuries of progress that has delivered us to this sort of moment of human potential and happiness. It’s done a lot of extraordinary things — I’m not advocating a sort of technological regression — but it definitely has not put people in a better place emotionally. Our towns are constructed around the automobile in as isolating a way as possible. Families live in real isolation from one another. It’s hard to break that down until a tornado comes and suddenly everyone is acting tribally and people have this weird nostalgia for that.
I know where he is coming from. His stance reminds me of this piece I wrote a coupla years ago.
Photo credit: LAUREN GERSON/Wikimedia Commons