Every culture has attitudes and activities that it considers essential for its survival. What these are can be almost anything, and they can be conscious, or unconscious, or both.
The American culture I was raised in was a strange mixture, that I have never understood. But I have come to realize that many of its important values are unconscious and hostile in nature.
They are engaged in an eternal war with other people – and will use any weapon at their disposal in that war. Including the latest one, the Computer.
A new subject in Software Development is the User Interface – making a program, or device, more useful to the User – and to the company that markets it. Ideally, from the company’s point of view – it should make itself absolutely necessary to the user – without the user realizing this. A case in point, is the smartphone – that everyone has to have, even though they could easily do without one. It has become a habit, an addiction, a way of life.
The American combative attitude towards people in other countries is obvious – but this also exists on a much smaller scale – in any office, business, or organization.
I will use my mother as an example. She was a schoolteacher back in the Thirties, teaching in a one-room rural school. She boarded with the families of her students – so she knew them well, and they knew her well. Most importantly, she was her own boss – in control of her own school. Then she was forced to be part of a consolidated school district – that was run by an organization – principals and superintendents. She hated it.
This competitive instinct, as they liked to call it – was useful in the Industrial Economy – even if it was socially destructive. But the Information Economy works better with people cooperating with each other.
At the present, we have a mixture of both – that generates great confusion. People don’t know which way to behave – but tend to prefer the old way, even if it destroys people by the millions.
Including America itself.