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Our Schizoid Culture
July 15, 2014 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Read Bain, professor of sociology at Miami University in Ohio and a founding editor of the American Sociological Review, wrote these words in 1935. We praise competition, but practice merger and monopoly…. We praise business organization but condemn and prevent labor organization…. We give heavier and more certain sentences to bank robbers than to bank wreckers. We boast of business ethics but we give power and prestige to business [disruptors]…. Everybody is equal before the law, except … women, immigrants, poor people.…We think of voting as the basis of democracy, but … seldom find more than fifty per cent of eligible voters actually registering their ‘will.'… We value equality, but tolerate greater inequality of wealth and income than has ever existed in any other society…. We drape nude statues and suppress noble books…. We try to foster participative recreation, but most of it is passive, much of it vicious, and almost all of it flagrantly commercialized…. This is the age of science, but there is more belief in miracles, spirits, occultism, and providences than one would think possible…by Debra Morris
posted by lazycomputerkids (9 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

I think hypocritical is a more apt descriptor than schizoid.
posted by prefpara at 6:40 AM on July 15 [7 favorites]

Not Consistent in Word and Deed: The Story of Homo Sapiens
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:46 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

posted by kliuless at 6:54 AM on July 15 [9 favorites]

Surely it can't escape notice that one of those sets of preferences are from individuals and another set are from businesses.
posted by winna at 7:40 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]

What eldritch wizardry is this, soothsayer Bain? How came you to foretell the forces that would drive the lives of your great-great granchildren?
posted by etherist at 7:43 AM on July 15

Not Consistent in Word and Deed: The Story of Homo Sapiens

Oh, and one more:
We believe we are exceptional, but our flaws are common to all humanity.
posted by Free word order! at 7:48 AM on July 15

also btw...
Ask Me Anything: The Perils Of Inequality - "If I were in the White House, what would keep me up at night?"
posted by kliuless at 8:42 AM on July 15

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
posted by tspae at 9:53 AM on July 15

So the lipservice made to egalitarianism is totally nothing new, although there were some past attempts to live up to our own standards, they pretty much died with the '70s (and the Carter Administration). But then, the Ultimate Capitalist Model IS the feudalism of the Middle Ages (just substitute 'Landed Gentry' for 'Owners').
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:18 AM on July 15

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