I must say that I fundamentally disagree. Such an attitude only leads to a total lack of accountability among all affected parties. It leads to mentalities of, "I'll let you get away with your stuff if you let me get away with mine," which in turn makes everyone else distrustful.
So, by extension, you think that an Orwellian society in which people are willing to turn in their neighbors, friends, and family, is a more "trusting" society?
The end result is that no one trusts anyone, and without trust, no progress can be made. (Would I buy a car if I knew everyone else would look the other way as it was stolen from me?) It is this mentality that causes total industrial, civic, aggricultural, and political stagnation.
I believe that you're living in a different America from the one I'm living in. In the America in which I live, business always distrust other businesses, businesses frequently distrust consumers and vice-versa, and everybody distrusts the goverment (or at least the half they disagree with). Nevertheless, progress (as it's generally defined) marches forward.
Which is not to say that trust doesn't exist in this country, but that trust is either earned, or it takes the form of a nice lengthy contract; it's not implied, and certainly not between strangers. What you have been referring to as trust is actually something else, namely apathy, complacency, and gullibility.
By the way, this concept of "Mutual Trust" being the foundation for societies is not just some half-baked idea. It's actually the foundation of economics. Money is nothing but the embodiment of a favor. When I want something done, I trade my "favors" (money) for what I want. Whoever gets my money can then trade their money for whatever favor they want.
Ask the man on the street whether he thinks money is an embodiment of his trust in society. You'll be lucky to receive a blank stare. People use money, because, well because it works. People don't actually think about it on a macroeconomic or philosophical level, so to say that money manifests trust is somewhat misguided. If anything, money is a convenient shared myth.
Ever wonder why Russia's economy has *never* been strong? The whole national mentality is one of mistrust.
Russia's failure to sustain a viable economy is a terribly overused rhetorical device to prove anything and everything, and it's a lousy argument. Russia also succeeded in educating their children in the mathematics and sciences to levels that we wouldn't dare imagine for our own schools. Does this prove that a good technical education also leads to a decaying economy? Be weary of generalizing the causes of a complex phenomenon, such as the weakness of a nation's economy.
Nonetheless, you are absolutely right in saying that the national mentality is one of mistrust. This only proves my point. There was no trust because, among other things, anyone might be an informer on your life, your activities, your beliefs, even your sexual orientation.
So no, I don't think that a society of people willing to inform on petty crimes creates an environment of trust. Quite the contrary, in fact.
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