If society--family, neighborhood, and nation--deprives a child of affection, teaches him or her vice through the world's largest pornographic industry, glorifies violence through the entertainment industry, glorifies crime through the wealth it gives its gangster kings, and shuts off legitimate avenues of growth and self-expression through substandard schooling and ethnic segregation, and then this child becomes a teenager armed with a knife and excited by alcohol and other narcotics, which society permits to be sold, is not society's casting the blame on the teenager a disgraceful search for a scapegoat? Such insistence on "personal responsibility" may well be a mere screen for society's refusal to face its moral decadence in repentant honesty (31-32).
John Howard Yoder on Collective Responsibility
Reading through The End of Sacrifice, a collection of essays by John Howard Yoder edited by John Nugent, I ran across this quote. This came from an essay, Capital Punishment and the Bible, that was originally published in 1960. I would assume that it was pretty relevant then, but it seems even more relevant today.