How People Lost Faith in Institutions

I heard the author of this book interviewed on NPR the other day and I think he’s right on the mark.  When people use institutions to build their own ‘brand’, the populace loses faith in those institutions.

Yuval Levin — director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs — says Americans are losing trust in institutions.

“We trust an institution when we think that it forms the people within it to be trustworthy — so that not only does it perform an important social function, educating children or making laws or any of the many, many goods and services that institutions provide for us, but it also at the same time provides an ethic that shapes the people within it to perform that service in a reliable, responsible way,” Levin told NPR Wednesday.

He says that people should ask themselves: Given my role here, in this institution – which could be anything from the government to the military to family, marriage and professions — how should I behave?

His new book, A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream, surfaces the problem, he says, to help find a path forward.

Give the whole a read.