23 Pages

Postscript / The Civil Community at Midfrontier

WithDaniel J. Elazar

The path which American society has chosen—or had thrust upon it—imposes a dual burden on American political institutions. Local efforts in the field of education alone would have put them in the forefront of the governmental response to the new frontier. A major aspect of the metropolitan-technological frontier’s impact has been the increasing “westernization” of the entire country. The westernization of the United States has been particularly visible in the social and cultural arena. Lack of recognition of the great strides made in the 1950’s has been compounded by the nearly exclusive public emphasis on national affairs that has developed at least since the 1930’s and intensified with the development of national television. The future of the civil community depends to no little extent upon the role of the states. The states are the only entities that can offer the advantages of larger than local scale where necessary yet remain manageable civil societies within the reach of ordinary men’s influence.