Collier is unhappy with the direction that societies have taken, especially the United Kingdom and the United States. People have lost their sense of obligation to fellow citizens and place too much emphasis on the individual. Collier suggests that widening social divisions—between booming cities and backwaters, between well-paid workers and those who are falling behind—have made individualism unsustainable. Drawing on extensive research, he suggests several policies, such as representing the public interest on company boards, that might narrow the gaps. The book is especially interesting on education, covering both preschool and adult learning. Collier concludes that a revived communitarian national identity can counter the trend toward shallow individualism.
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