History wasted little time in its, emphatic, demonstration that the popular slogan, assigned to the First World War, “The War to End All Wars,” was, realistically, naïve and Pollyannaish. In a matter of two decades, Germany and Italy, with Japan, (“The Axis”) instituted the devastating, Second World War.

Although the United States and its Allies were successful in defeating said autocratic enemies of freedom and democracy, such consequential events lent further credence to the empirically, derived conclusion, that Mankind’s inclination to conflict was a chronic one and a permanent blemish on his innate persona. Subsequent international conflicts, such as the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, were additionally, probative of that pessimistic, but historically, empirical, conclusion.

Yet, more insidious and devastating, than international conflicts, are internal (intra-national) wars, not the least of which was the Civil War; an American 19th Century colossal tragedy with far-reaching implications, metastasizing its societal suffering to today’s extant, chronic pathology.

In the years following 2000, the citizen, began to experience an American Nation, engaged in a domestic, “Cold War,” between (a) mainstream American citizens, with adequate, to advanced education, ardently, supporting the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, and the American traditional institutions, (making slow, but steady, progress towards the avowed goal of universal equality), and (b)  witless citizens, who, in ignorant, insecure and cultish, lock-step with Donald Trump, would denigrate the existential, importance of factual “truth,” universal citizen liberties and, in suicidal, lemming- type behavior, ostensibly, favor the establishment of autocracy with a racial and ethnic hierarchy.

We have, with great concern, deliberated upon such divisive and alarming National developments, and have set forth, for the consideration of the reader, a summary of our, resultant, personal views as to the attribution of such mindless and parochial inclinations, within the selected context, of three, concluded, causative, categories: (1) The “smartphone,” (2) Covid-19 and (3) the widely, misused internet.

  • [The Smartphone]: Readers of this blogspace are, undoubtedly, familiar with our view that the regular use of the cellular smartphone, is a foolhardy surrender of the natural pleasure of personal, or telephone interaction,( featuring the benefits of interactive conviviality, recognition of personal nuance, spontaneity of response and the comfort of socialization), in an unwise, exchange for the speed and convenience of a hand-held, small appliance. Such device replicates, in computer-like symbols, the message of the caller, but necessarily, lacks conviviality, expressive emotion, timeliness, nuance, comforting personal recognition, as well as spontaneous expression and timeliness of response. Such minimal exchanges are formally denominated, “conversations,” but, in reality, constitute unsatisfying, ersatz interactions.

The ultimate result of such separate, one-party transmissions has been loneliness and introspection, rather than mutually shared, personal experiences.  It is today’s general feelings of loneliness and isolation, that provide the neurotic background for personal insecurity, and often, ultimately, mindless, “groupthink,” characterized by its loyal, unthinking and militant, divisiveness with other such blocs and individuals, of divergent opinion.

  • [Covid-19]: The Covid pandemic had, and still, has, momentous implications, not limited to its pathological implications, the latter, including the potential of mortality. The direct effect of the societally defensive, response, necessarily, was an up-setter and destroyer, of existing societal norms and long-held, societal expectations. Its salient and most impactful, non-medical harm was caused by the necessary prophylactic, but societally, devastating, curtailment of social interaction. We have often declared that social interaction is the epoxy of society. We might, indeed, more accurately, have declared that social exchange between known individuals is society. The mandatory avoidance of contact with others, in combination with the instructed, universal public wearing of dystopic- appearing, and expression- negating masks, makes strangers of neighbors and friends, and unmercifully, stymies social contact and interactive expression, The worst effect, reportedly, is the impact upon young children, who have, observably, suffered from the significant social and psychological impact, of unnatural isolation from playmates and schoolchildren, and the deprivation of healthy developmental growth and social maturity, normally derived from such interactions.

The effects of virus-related interruptions in adult routine, in family and employment, were so fundamentally impactful, that we see a cogent possibility that individuals, long after the exigencies of the pandemic have become irrelevant, will not resume them. These prominently include commutation to, and performance of, employment responsibilities at their former office or other places of employment.  As is the case with smartphones, the pandemic, effectively, demonstrates that social and physical separation of the citizen from his normal associations, results, among other problems, in an unfamiliar sense of singularity, loneliness and divisive vulnerability to influence, by demagogues and tactical inciters of belief in “alternate facts,”  inclusive of delusional, conspiracy ideations.

  • [The internet]: [N.B.: We exclude from this critical essay, the legitimate writings and literary essays, the research facility, factual content and the several usefully, informative, applications for which the internet is beneficially, known. Our critique is, relevantly, limited in application, to the public dynamics of a “Facebook,” or similar function.]

The necessarily created, disturbing and vulnerable sense of personal loneliness, and the consequent, protective, coarsening of the Nation, as observed above, was, and is, in sync with, its impactful effect on the citizen’s personal use of the internet; the rare, remaining facility for inter-personal communication  [supra., (1), (2)]; such nuanced use of the Facebook function of the internet, itself, playing a major role in the Nation’s exacerbated, divisive, character.

The isolated citizen, in his resultant insecurity, is empirically susceptible to misinformation. Having few or no communicants, and little or no personal resources, with which to test its validation, subjects him to the facile and irresponsible, transmission of falsity and gives voice to widespread political extremism and conspiracy ideation. All manner of claims of alleged government conspiracy, the universal spread of tactically, intentional, or imagined, misinformation, regarding any subject, person or class of persons are freely, publishable, without editorial scrutiny. Social media thus, unrestrained and unedited, contributes to the ignorance, reductive prejudices, hatred and divisiveness, and, at times, the anti-social behavior of the Nation’s citizenry; especially vulnerable, are those who are insufficiently, educated and poorly, informed.

The readily discernible, common denominator, applicable to these three, component, axis of existential danger to our democracy, is the impactful factor of isolation, voluntarily chosen, or mandatorily, imposed, on the individual citizen. It is plausible to assume that, after the many eons since the advent of Man’s experiential election to live in society, he confidently, thinks and performs best, when his individuality and self-worth, are regularly, confirmed through the dynamics of his association and communication with others.  

One suggested way to ameliorate such challenging condition of the Nation, might be, to construe “virtual” meeting places, regularly scheduled, social occasions, at which citizens can healthily, interact and thereby, recover their previously established, self-image and mature perspective; suspended during the stubborn persistence of the Covid virus. At such occasions, one, conceivably, might recollect the personal pleasure and self-confirmation of personal human interaction and naturally converse with each other, as contrasted with un-social, mutual transmissions to each other’s hand-held, digital appliance.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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