I’m currently enjoying Kunstler’s The Geography of Nowhere. Here’s an excerpt:
This is quite an extraordinary thing. It can only be possible where people feel no connection or allegiance to their locality – and, in fact, Americans move relentlessly, every four years on average.
Quickest to uproot themselves are the educated classes, generally to advance their corporate careers. In an earlier era, these would have been the people who stayed put long enough to become stewards, official or otherwise, of that complex of values known as pride of place. They would have owned the business blocks downtown, and taken care of them. They would have built the churches, the libraries, the town bandshell, the ballfields. And they would have built houses for their own families that embodied the ideas of endurance and community. Today, this class of citizen is in the service of the large corporations whose very survival is predicated on destroying local economies and thus local communities. So it is somehow just that their hirelings should live in places of no character, no history, and no community. (pp148-149)
Christopher Lasch makes the same point in The Revolt of the Elites. Americans are too mobile to become attached to any place in particular. The places in which they do live, subdivisions devoid of a public realm, are not worth caring about. This is the key to understanding the disintegration of communal values like race, ethnicity, and tradition in the late twentieth century.