Although there is increased concern about recovering the significance of small towns, many self-images of such communities are self-defeating. There is environmental deterioration, with abandoned buildings, overgrown lots, and old ruins witnessing to past glories and present squalor. Many of the vital structures and activities which gave small towns distinct identity have shifted to the larger nearby towns, and many residents have also moved there. Local history classes do not attempt to recapture the history of the local pioneers, there is simply an image of uncertainty for the future, which destroys community goals and ensures that projects fail before implementation even begins. The disparity between the great accomplishments of the past and the sense of oppression of the present becomes immobilizing and overwhelming. Taken together with a deeply fatalistic attitude to life, such primary images ensure that no profound or lasting social and economic change can occur without creative transformation of attitude.