Political society wants things simple. Political scientists know them to be complex... One could argue that, in part, the leftist impulse is so conspicuous among the educated and well-to-do precisely because they are exposed to more information, and are accordingly forced to choose between living with the strains of complexity, or lapsing into simplism.
Liberty lives in protest and democracy prospers under conditions of change. When we travel about the world and come to a country whose newspapers are filled with bad news we feel that liberty lives in that land. When we come to a country whose newspapers are filled with good news, we feel differently.
The institution of the family is decisive in determining not only if a person has the capacity to love another individual but in the larger social sense whether he is capable of loving his fellow men collectively. The whole of society rests on this foundation for stability, understanding and social peace.
So many of the new nations which were established as democracies after the second world war, during the decolonizing process, have now changed their system to state-socialism. Small elites run them, and they aren't sharing societies. They aren't even socialist. The power of the state has been merged with business property and you have the greatest concentration of power that's possible.
One ideological claim is that private property is theft, that the natural product of the existence of property is evil, and that private ownership therefore should not exist... What those who feel this way don't realize is that property is a notion that has to do with control - that property is a system for the disposal of power. The absence of property almost always means the concentration of power in the state.
The work of democratic government is routinely concerned with matters defined as troubles. In "The Presidency and the Press" I make the point, familiar to anyone who has flown about the world much, that the best quick test of the political nature of a regime is to read the local papers on arrival. If they are filled with bad news, you have landed in a libertarian society of some sort. If, on the other hand, the press is filled with good news, it is a fair bet that the jails will be filled with good men.
The Soviet Union came apart along ethnic lines. The most important factor in this breakup was the disinclination of Slavic Ukraine to continue under a regime dominated by Slavic Russia. Yugoslavia came apart also, beginning with a brutal clash between Serbia and Croatia, here again 'nations' with only the smallest differences in genealogy; with, indeed, practically a common language. Ethnic conflict does not require great differences; small will do.