"The Next Hundred Million" provides a vivid snapshot of America in 2050 by focusing not on power brokers, policy disputes, or abstract trends, but rather on the evolution of the more intimate units of American society—families, towns, neighborhoods, schools, industries. It is upon the success or failure of these communities, Kotkin argues, that the American future rests. Its greatest power will be its identification with notions of personal liberty, constitutional protections and universalism.” Beware of policy initiatives that seek to cut us off from these vital birthrights.
If you had to produce one single defense of Kotkin’s thesis, it is the concept (ironically, Japanese) of sokojikara, which he defines as our country’s “self-renewing power generated by its unique combination of high fertility, great diversity, and enormous physical assets.” Here is the strongest argument against viewing your community in a passive "glass is half empty" mindset. An exciting future is not winning a zero-sum race of dwindling possibilities...in our near future: community, a sense of place, a connection will carry more power -- both economic and cultural -- than where the factories of the last half-century were located. New eyes and new hope ... the only negative message: if you are not optimistically engaged in this work of community building, step aside for others are. Build your community; build your future!
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