- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

Charles Hugh Smith: We Desperately Need Shared Values, Connection & Positive Social Roles

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0


Our culture is becoming a "social desert"

We've recently published a series of commentary on addressing the epidemic of disconnection, dissatisfaction and demoralization that society is increasingly suffering from today:

Together, these articles beg the question: In an age of more "prosperity" than the human species has ever experienced, why are so many of us feeling so empty?

And what solutions exist out there to offer us more meaning, connection and purpose in our lives?

Joining us this week is Charles Hugh Smith, who gives a detailed account of the root causes of what's ailing society, as well as the essential ingredients for repairing it.

Our culture is ill.

Our families have been depreciated and demoralized. A lot of people don't get along with their families. They don't have any family connections. Or they see their relatives once every few years or something. 

Of course this is understandable in an economy where we have where people are always moving around. You have to move for your job. Or you have to move for your kids' schools. There's a dozen reasons why you've got to move far away and then lose connection to your family of origin. Distance makes it much more difficult to maintain. But, however it occurs, this loss of sense of family is a core factor plaguing our culture. 

Then there's the erosion of values and faith. Those experiences are primary in their participants' lives. You have got to have faith or value. Something you really value and you're willing to sacrifice for. You find other people in the same boat. You're going to have something that's really exciting and positive. Everyone is going to get positive feedback when they join.

A strong belief in a value system will allow you to congregate around things. Like for artists it's about finding a cheap place to live and sharing your art with other people who are just as excited about doing their art. That's a value system. I will sacrifice everything else to support this. Shared values are the anchors or magnets for social engagement. 

And when people congregate around shared values, there are positive social roles for everyone. In other words, you could be unemployed. You could be at a low point in your family.  You could have a lot of things going wrong in your life. But when you show up for that organizational meeting, people brighten, "Hey, you're here! We need you. Your contribution is important."

It just makes an enormous difference in your outlook on life. Your demoralization goes away -- at least, as long as you're participating in community groups with positive social roles.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Charles Hugh Smith (53m:56s).


Chris Martenson: Welcome everyone to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson. It is June 27, 2018. Now, I have written a number of pieces lately that have been kind of off the reservation from describing the world through the economic lens. That's often a lens that I look through.

Recently, I have a set of pieces. There is really a trio. One of them was fully public. It was called Facing Our (Horrible) Horrible Future. That one really was just looking at extrapolating the trends we're facing right now. If we carried those forward, and we went out to 2040, and then looked read more


About the guest

Charles Hugh Smith

Charles Hugh Smith writes the Of Two Minds blog ( which covers an eclectic range of timely topics:  economy, housing, Asia, energy, longterm trends, social issues, health/diet/fitness and sustainability and community. He is also a regular contributor here at Peak Prosperity. From its humble beginnings in May 2005, Of Two Minds now attracts some 300,000 visits a month. Charles also contributes to AOL's Daily Finance site ( and has written multiple books, most recently "The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education".