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The Anglo-American world, once a shining beacon of the "rule of law," is sliding into constitutional disarray.In the schema proposed by Princeton Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman in his book "Thinking, Fast and Slow," this means appealing to human beings' "System 1" thinking, which is based on emotion and instinct, as well as to the more deliberative or logical "System 2 ".An increasing body of evidence suggests, however, that sustaining human cooperation across large networks is hard. In the cognitive sciences, evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar has argued that the human brain can optimally process a social network of no more than about 150 people.Sadly, institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. have ignored the growing decay of civil society, though it was documented nearly two decades ago in Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam's evocatively titled book "Bowling Alone". As a result, the law has been reduced to a system of amoral constraints that can be gamed.Contrary to former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's famous proclamation, there is such a thing as society. The West needs to fetishize formal institutions less and promote civic friendship more.
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