A Sociological Theory: Social Movements and Tactical Choice

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Authors in the modern era frequently draw inspiration from the works of the luminaries who came before them. People write arguments that are written from the viewpoint of the theories that came before them. It is the same for sociologists. The concepts of the classical theorists, like Georg Simmel, frequently affect contemporary sociology writers. The article by David Myers titled "The American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in the Age of Plenty" will be highlighted in the publication. Georg Simmel's concepts served as an inspiration for the article. The article by David Myers talks about the lives of the people of the United States of America in comparison to what it was in the past. According to the author, there are both positive changes and adverse changes that have taken place in the lives of people. Therefore, it is the best time that one would wish to live in the history of the country. However, it is also the worst time for some aspects of the lives of people. The author begins by pointing out the elements of life that have improved over the last century in the United States of America. According to David Myers, the aspects of life that make the current USA the best time in history include the fact that the country has more abilities in the field of agriculture and food production. Also, the present day the USA has lower rates of joblessness as compared to a quarter a century ago. It is also cheaper to acquire cars, travel via train or other modes of transport currently as compared to the early 20th century. The author also says that the national budget has a surplus, something that was not common in the past of the country. Also, the rate of HIV infections has reduced, and cheaper and better drugs have been discovered. The discoveries in medicine have made it possible to treat even diseases that were thought to be impossible to treat like cancer. The author gives an account of how he sits in an office whose climate is controlled and how the chair is comfortable. The comfort in the lives of people in the present times is more than it has ever been in the past of the country.

The author also gives details of the aspects of life in the country that has worsened and therefore make the present age of the country the worse time to live. According to the author, even though there are signs that life has become more comfortable than before, there are some aspects that the country still lags behind. First, the author points out that there are more divorces in the present than it was in the past. The rates of people committing suicides have also increased. The author also says that crime rates are alarming. The rate of crime has grown four times higher than before. The number of people locked in the various prisons of the country has also increased. Also, the people cohabiting have increased, and the number of babies that are born outside of wedlock has also increased. Therefore, apparently, there are problems.

The author claims that the primary reason for the poor social standards despite the improvements in other area is the radical individualism. The people of the USA are individualistic. They think of themselves individually rather than themselves as a society. Therefore, people do things as long as they favor themselves with little regard to everyone else. People want laws that enhance their individuality such as gun rights, pornography, and unregulated business. People want their privacy to be respected, taxes to be cut and their wages to improve without thinking of the effects of the individualism to the society. The author suggests that there should be a new American dream. The dream should be that that focuses on balancing individual rights and the communal needs. The author suggests that Americans should stop being excessively greedy and seek to balance their needs and those of their society.

The writing of the author is based on the ideas of Georg Simmel. Georg Simmel proposed that everything interacts with everything else in some way. Simmel suggested that actions should be consciously oriented to others. The theorists talk about the interactions of the society and how the interactions can lead to disastrous results. Therefore, the argument by David Myers that the individualistic tendencies of Americans are to blame for the negative situation is based on the idea of Simmel that things are connected, and people should act in ways that consider other people. Otherwise, there will be disastrous results.

In conclusion, the article by David Myers looks at the growth that the USA has gone through and the problems that the country faces. According to the author, it is the individualistic tendencies of Americans that is to blame for the situation. The idea is based on the theory of Georg Simmel that says that everything is connected with everything else and that people should act consciously of other people.


Myers, D. G. (2001). The American paradox: Spiritual hunger in an age of plenty. Yale University Press.

Simmel, G. (2004). The philosophy of money. Psychology Press.

March 23, 2023

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