Social Solipsism and Moral Loneliness in the Intellectual Community

Americans are increasingly lonely. We move around a lot more than we used to, so it is harder for us to sustain friendships or to identify with any type of community. We find less time in our lives for the voluntary associations that led Arthur Schlesinger, Sr., in the 1940s to refer to Americans as "a nation of joiners."

Symptomatic of this loneliness is our political debate over "family values." It is full of nostalgia for an era in America's past when people lived in small towns,