Thomas S. Harrington writes at Common Dreams:
One of the more common responses I get when I try to point out the alarming decline of basic civic values and practices in the U.S. is one version or another of the following: “What are you getting so excited about? It is a dog eat dog world today, just as it has been for the entire trajectory of the human race. The powerful have always sought to fully exploit their ability to toy with the lives of “lesser beings”.
And with this response, these men—they are almost always men—feel they have really put the silly dreamer in his place, and that, moreover, that they have actually engaged in an argument and won it.
And because most Americans today have been brought up on a steady diet of punditry churned out by people whose knowledge base and thinking skills are said to be oh-so-much-greater and sharper than their own, they tend to have very little confidence in their ability to generate personal opinions on social and political issues, and hence, believe they have very little standing for contesting the Darwinian pronouncements of their local, self-proclaimed Alpha male.
When these gents are challenged by some one who has actually spent a little time studying the march of western civilization—the history they breezily dismiss as one long exercise in organized looting and unbridled aggression—they usually try to change the subject…
Read more here.