This attitude was derived from Christianity, that much is clear. And was the bedrock for everything that happened after the fall of the Roman Empire – nearly two thousand years ago.
The early Christians assumed their world was temporary – soon to be replaced by Christ’s kingdom of heaven on earth. The Roman Empire was so evil it could not be saved – so it would be eliminated. And be replaced by a world ruled by the Church.
The world that resulted, the Middle Ages – was far from perfect, but this could easily be ignored by concentrating on the world to come.
This comfortable arrangement was shattered by the Reformation – that led to the Industrial Revolution in Northern Europe – but not in Southern Europe, or in Latin America. The North became rich, but the South remained poor.
In America, the attitude toward the World became modified, as Big Business took over – and took the place of the Church. It was in charge, and was responsible for managing the World.
Which, however, it could not do. It could pretend to be in control – but other forces were controlling it. They demanded that the World’s resources be exploited for short-term gains. This would, in effect – destroy the world.
Some people objected to this (one percent of the population, perhaps) but the rest went along with it. They became used to saying the right things – while doing the wrong things.