One of the most striking things about much culture in America is the simple meanness of it. The cruelty. Most of this seems to come down to three feelings.
- My life sucks. I have to work a terrible job I hate in order to survive. I have to bow and scrape and do shit I don’t want to do. You should have to as well.
- Anyone who doesn’t make it must not be willing to suffer as I do, therefore anyone who doesn’t make it deserves to be homeless, go without food and so on.
- Anybody who is against us needs to be hurt and humiliated, because that’s how I see my superiors deal with people who go against them. [snip]
This appears to be a result of something simple: at every stage of American life, it’s a zero or negative sum game, and who gets ahead is decided by authority figures.
Source: Ian Welsh
Not 100 percent true, I know of many exceptions, but becoming more and more true. Welsh’s whole post is well worth reading.