By Arthur R. Poskocil
Metaphors can be powerful aids to understanding, but they can just as powerfully impair understanding. One such metaphor that has been widely applied is that of the family in relation to American society, particularly to the national government.
On the one hand, society as family points to our responsibilities toward each other, our obligation for the welfare of others, and the we’re-all-in-this-together idea that brought President Obama so much grief during the presidential campaign. The howls of I-did-it-all-by-myself to the president’s suggestion that no one builds a company or anything else independent of the cooperative efforts of others, brought home how little meaningful community we have left in America today.
Poskocil teaches at Hollins University.