So asked Cain of the Lord, and considering the tone of God's inquiry and the status of Cain as basically the world's first murderer and representation of man's inhumanity to man, the answer is, well, yes, you are and should have been. That idea of a responsibility to our neighbors and our community has been on my mind lately, especially as it can seem at times as if we are falling apart as a nation at the very time we should and must be coming together. Conservative writer David French is truly concerned about the division, and certainly the protests in the street coinciding with a president who publicly espouses a mistrust of the institutions he's sworn to protect give us reason to pause and even fret. On the other hand, I still ground myself in faith for the country and the communities in which we live. And it's the value and importance of community that French identifies as really the hope to avoid a dramatic and even violent split in our society. Edmund Burke, the founding father of conservatism, called these units of community "little platoons," the traditional structures of society to connect us and build stability through community.
The problem of a society and economy increasingly managed by companies like Google and Amazon is that while the profits benefit some, the net loss to communities exacerbates the problems we oppose and seek to mitigate. The self interest and monopolistic power of these companies have ultimately weakened the very communities which they claim as their consumers. Mike Rowe, a tireless advocate for the value of skilled labor, has pointed out that the tech industry creates millionaires among a select few who design the product, but that prosperity doesn't extend to those who build, transport, sell, and buy the products. A single fax machine is worthless with no one to connect to. That same idea can be extrapolated through so many of our innovations. The tech companies have similarly cannibalized the heart of the information industry that gave them so much of their content.