The current concerns with the effects of globalization on community sustainability and inter-community polarization are discussed within the broader historical struggle to identify public goods solutions through the design and implementation of formal institutional structures to deal with major technological and ecological change. The complex relationships between informal and formal institutions and their capacity to either facilitate or block community adaptation to change and resist public goods solutions are discussed. The parallels between the 21st Century community challenges with globalization and the 20th Century “mass society” phenomenon that resisted liberal democratic solutions and set the stage for fascism are noted.
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