Some thirty years later, Francis Fukuyama, in his book Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, referred to the concept of “social capital” as the ability of people to work together for common purposes. Just as financial capital facilitates productive capacity, people facilitate social capital by trusting each other to fulfill commitments. Such trust requires integrity and justice as its underpinnings.
Following a decline in social capital after World War II, an often bewildering array of control systems and legal requirements gradually superseded trustworthiness in public dealings. The unhappy result found people occasionally alienated from, mistrustful of, and compromised by each other and their institutions. Fukuyama warned that this loss of social capital meant a decline in the American economic system. He wrote:
The decline of trust and sociability in the United States is also evident … in: the rise of violent crime and civil litigation; the breakdown of family structure; the decline of a wide range of intermediate social structures like neighborhoods, churches, unions, clubs and charities; and the general sense among Americans of a lack of shared values and community with those around them. … Already the United States pay significantly more than other industrialized countries for police protection… (The U.S.) also pays substantially more than does Europe or Japan to its lawyers, so that its citizens can sue one another. Both of these costs, which amount to a measurable percentage of gross domestic product annually, constitute a direct tax imposed by the breakdown of trust in society.
More than a half-century ago the author Horace Holley astutely viewed this same social fragmentation as weakening the fabric of American culture: “The individual has become engulfed in struggles of competitive groups employing different weapons to attain irreconcilable ends.”
Ttrustworthiness as essential for the stability, the well-being and security of the entire human race. This ennobling quality signifies reliability, loyalty, faithfulness, uprightness and honesty. And trustworthiness, as my grandfather Avery demonstrated, underpins the essence and the practice of justice.
Whether viewed socially, economically, financially, politically, regionally or nationally, injustice destroys mutual trust. The widespread, unjust exploitation of people tears at the fabric of society and contributes to impotent rage and volatile acts of defiance.
My grandfather lived a life of moral integrity and justice. In his close-knit community, neighbors became life-long friends. In difficult times you could count on them to come to your aid. Through their closeness, whatever you needed they would willingly give. Of course, those Missouri hill-country folks lived in simpler times, and in an imperfect world. But somehow they grasped the idea that trust, justice and moral uprightness lie at the core of human happiness. If they could impart their life experience to our present generation, they would ask us to simply treat each other with fairness, and then see what happens. - http://bahaiteachings.org/a-system-of-trust