…ave, for a piece of the Promise Land. Like all myths, that one — was a lie that revealed the truth: America was a Promised Land for the huddled masses to roam free — but only if they could fend off the other tribes, by punching them down, endlessly,.
This is an interesting and useful theory. It carries much truth. I would add that the Promised Land, more accurately the 18th century City on the Hill as a Utopian idea that was adopted in the American colonies to unite the people who, you are correct, had no pride. It became the American delusion that carried weight as the incredible resources of North America began to be exploited. Later migrants came for that wealth and got the story also. It was almost true but the fight to establish hierarchy was the reality and the bottom were killed unless they forced a newer group down but they were always free to kill the “other” people. The incredible theft of a continent from it’s people by murder leaves an indelible mark on a culture. That bit of deflection allowed newer European groups to be finally accepted because they didn’t look too much different. But there must always be those who cannot be touched and who must never be allowed to rise.
So much irony. In a ‘classless’ society we are forbidden to describe classes. Yet the original new rich of America became the aristocracy and the chosen people. With luck, wealth, tenacity, and connections you could become part of that class but only by accepting their ways in totality. And the City on the Hill was built for them . . . No one else. So the US again became a classed society with the most productive people given value until greed took over. The 1% see the limits of the pie. That was not true fifty years ago. They really thought the planet could be stripped forever. When the limits began to be defined, about fifty years ago, the trickle down stopped. Greed became the rule. The middle class had been indoctrinated for all of the 20th century with limitless growth and their part would grow also until they could enter the City on the Hill. If not them then their children. That works, too. But the gates started to close forty years ago. Slowly. It worked.
The brutality of American society is unique. Our aristocracy owe nothing to any one who came before. All are for their use or to be disposed of as needed. That was part of the closing of the gates. No healthcare without bankruptcy. No more free education. You have to prove your value without it. Oh, you can’t? We began to build the largest prison population on the planet in the wealthiest nation. Teach the folks on the bottom that they can fall farther. Teach them that the rule is to ask for nothing that the 1% have so that they can prove their value and commitment to the City on the Hill. Enough believed to cripple us as we finally began to realize the mistake.