Lots of layers in this piece. You have given us lots to think about if we start peeling back the sentences. Great job.
I'm not a believer in some "Good Old Days" philosophy. But I have an anecdote that relates to some of the layers I see in your article.
I grew up in farming community in southeast Alberta. This community was just breaking out of its rural poverty when I was about 10 years old. After two generations, farmers had some disposible income.
The community had to do some renovations for our community center. To do that, three demographics had to come together: 1) the townspeople who had regular jobs, 2) the religious farmers, and 3) the party-party farmers. My family belonged to the last group. The three groups didn't socialize that much with the other groups. But we all needed each other for this project. We all made good use of that community center.
These days, I wonder if these three groups could sit in the same room to accomplish anything. Plus the community has fractured into more groups.