There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same: human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology. Though our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.

We'd modify this to say that it's correct Neoliberalism is a major culprit, but competitive self-interest and individualism aren't per se "problems" -- it's the noxious trope that one could only possibly be "failing" economically if one hasn't been "competitive enough" in this world. Instead, the structural deficits of Western economies are so bad, they are leaving increasing numbers "out in the cold", which is made more miserable than it might otherwise be by societies that lack any sort of social fabric (as a "substitute", many more people are turning to government support, which is a poor stand-in for a genuine social fabric)...

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