Why is it that there is so few real (authentic and helpful) community in our Western societies? At least in Germany? At least in the part of Germany that I know?
Community, just as climate and faith, is no material entity, but rather a statistical figure, or if you want, an informational entity. That is, we must beware of category errors, so as to mix up these categories of entities in language. Therefore, let us not think that community “is there” if some preconditions are met, instead it “can be measured” wherever it is made up, and the “preconditions” are the positive influence factors.
But in our current state of society, there are many negative influence factors (to be detailed out). So that, due to lack of knowledge and as a “least common denominator” in society, practical community in groups larger than two is normally confined to sitting down, eating, and talking superficial stuff.
When talking against small talk here, I don’t want to not surpass the fact that, at times, the content of small talk is only the meaningless vehicle to implement important non-verbal communication, like showing interest in another person, showing love, but also (and more common) showmanship and self-display etc.. In these situations, you can forget about the content, but what is important is the mode of communication: respecting or not respecting the communication partner(s), letting them talk or cutting in, the intention of the jokes employed etc..