Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

An Essay on why America has the Strictest Caste System in the entire world

In this Post, I want to share with you a tiny theory of what theimmigrant01/05/19
Yes defensivelawyer01/06/19
TI are you actually autistic? irishlaw01/05/19
America is not really cruel! IT IS HOWEVER THE MOST INDIVIDU demwave01/05/19
Excellent post. theimmigrant01/05/19
I don’t think he actually writes this stuff. He probably f gladigotaphdinstead01/05/19
I think that one explicitly mentioned Reddit. phosita01/05/19
Good stuff. “Punching down” is the essential feature of midlaw01/05/19
I was expecting to read an essay on clique theory and I'm st onefortheteam01/05/19
Tl;dr: Americans’ dna and history demands a society in whi midlaw01/05/19
It is about the Genesis of Clique imho. As noted numerous ti theimmigrant01/05/19
People have finite time. They prefer not to work in that fi wearyattorney01/05/19
This makes no sense. midlaw01/05/19
I rambled a bit, I admit, but it’s not punching down. T wearyattorney01/06/19
Chris hedges is (I assume) implying that we need to raise te gladigotaphdinstead01/06/19
This is why the parasites are going to win because the publi wearyattorney01/06/19
“The big time parasites” The fundamental problem with midlaw01/06/19
It’s the Losers that think they can take over the system a wearyattorney01/06/19
It doesn’t cost 300k to become a doctor outside the USA, w gladigotaphdinstead01/06/19
The systemic abuse associated with higher education stems fr wearyattorney01/06/19
Adequate post theimmigrant01/06/19
In my home country, MedicalDoctors make 50k. theimmigrant01/06/19
That’s why your home country sucks. wearyattorney01/06/19
Blank this post. theimmigrant01/06/19
You took 4 minutes of my life and I want them back. http zuma01/05/19
It is good that Chinese communist got rid of 99.99% of the a mrlollipop01/06/19
I was excited because i thought this was the first original normshow01/07/19
Here he is giving a presentation that deserves the Billy Mad normshow01/07/19
Please provide Cliff notes. Thanks in advance TI. corneroffice01/07/19
http://www.cliquetheory.com theimmigrant01/07/19

theimmigrant (Jan 5, 2019 - 12:50 pm)

In this Post, I want to share with you a tiny theory of what it means to be American. It is up to you to judge, as ever, whether it carries any weight. All that I will say is that when I look around, it explains, a little, what I see imho.
Any theory of being American must explain one salient and striking fact: cruelty. America is the most cruel nation among its peers — even among most poor countries today. It is something like a new Rome. It has little, if any, functioning healthcare, education, transport, media, no safety nets, no stability, security. The middle class is collapsing, and life expectancy is falling. Young people die for a lack of insulin they cannot crowdfund. Elderly middle-class people live and die in their cars. Kids massacre each other in schools — when they’re not self-medicating the pain of it all away. The combination of these pathologies happens nowhere else — not a single place — in the world. Not even Pakistan, Costa Rica, or Rwanda. Hence, the world is aghast daily at the depths of American cruelty — yet somehow, they seem bottomless.

(Of course I don’t mean that all Americans are cruel. I just mean that in the same way we say countries have attitude, dispositions, that there’s such a thing as a French or German national attitude or disposition, so, too there is an American one. Nor do I mean America is “the most cruel society in the world”. Can we really ever judge that? But it is uniquely cruel — a kind of special example — in weird, needless, and singular ways.)

Let me throw that into relief. Scandinavians are the happiest, longest-lived, and most prosperous people in the world because they do not punish one another constantly — but lift one another up. But Americans do not believe this reality. The underlying sentiment that unites America’s manifold problems is a myth of cruelty.

So. Where did the myth of cruelty come from? That is the question before us if we really want to understand America. I’ve wondered since I was a kid, to be honest. I thought, once, it was about capitalism, patriarchy, race, once. But now I think that while those are expressions of it. That something more primary, fundamental, and unique happened.

America was a strange, improbable combination of things, singular in history. A Promised Land —but one for the despised. Waves upon waves of them washed up on its shores. First, the Puritans, mocked and loathed in England. Then peasants and farmers and outlaws from across Europe. Then Chinese, Japanese, Latinos, and today, Muslims.

These emigrants all tended to share a common trait. They were at the very bottom, the lowest rung, of social and economic heirarchies in their own countries. All of them. That has changed a little recently — but America was founded by and for the despised, loathed, hated. People referred to as trash, nobodies, serfs, exiles, outcasts — who were never given an ounce of respect, dignity, or even belonging, in their societies of origin.

Let me make that clearer. We did not see nobles and landed gentry emigrate to America. British Lords and German Counts and Italians Barons. We saw German peasant, Irish villagers, Swedish farmers, the dwellers of Italian slums. People from the very lowest of heirarchies elsewhere, the oppressed and the subjugated, came to this Promised Land.

So first the English and French settlers supposed that this New World was theirs (and began a kind of genocide against its natives, of course). But it wasn’t just the natives that they came to hate, for threatening their natural right to this Promised Land. It was the next waves of settlers, too. The English settlers hated the French. The French hated the Germans. They all hated the Irish. The Irish hated the Italians. And so on. That much is historical fact. Do you see the pattern forming yet?

This is very abstract, so let me make it concrete. Here came one wave of settlers — English. They dominated their way to the top of a hierarchy, above natives and blacks. Then came a new wave — German. They were punched down too — and began punching down — to bitterly establish themselves in this hierarchy, as high up as they could. Then another wave — Irish. Punched, punching down. All desperately vying for relative dominance among the rest.

You see, the crucial fact is that this didn’t happen elsewhere in the world — waves of settlers, all desperately trying to establish themselves above the next, last, most recent, in a hierarchy, all the more so, because they were despised, at the bottom, to begin with. In Europe, Asia, South America, heirarchies were long established — and broken only by revolution. America was the only nation where this constant reconstruction of hierarchy happened to such a degree, over and over again. Hence, the establishment of cruelty as a way of life — how else but to establish one’s self above the next wave of migrants?

Each new tribe that came to this Promised Land brought the burden of being despised, subjugated, oppressed, with them. They were finally above someone else in a social hierarchy. They were not at the bottom anymore. But to be above requires somone else to be below. And so there was a constant battle for relative position within a growing hierarchy — hence, dominance, competition, conquest soon became the prized cultural values, norms, and institutional goals. Cruelty as a way of life was born.

When we noted that the despised of England hated the newly arrived despised of France hated the newly arrived despised of Germany and so on, not to mentions natives, blacks, and Asians, in an endless vicious circle, we are also saying: America was learning to be cruel, by forever constructing greater heirachies to seize the fruits of a Promised Land. But greater hierarchies require greater cruelty to climb up, too. And the irony is that all this is what the despised came to America to escape.

(I’ll add peripheral point. The despised, when coming to a Promised Land, are the least likely, perversely, though we might not immediately think so, to want to share it — because they, at last, have something that they feel is theirs. Today’s servant wants to be tomorrow’s master. Today’s peasant wants to be tomorrow’s landlord. Today’s victim aspires to be tomorrow’s oppressor.)

Now. What was really happening here, in more modern terms? People were learning to “punch down”, as we might put it today. Americans were being taught to take out their anger, rage, and fear on those less powerful than them — usually, the most obvious and immediate ones they could find. An Irish mutt bastard moved into the neighbourhood? Get them. No Chinamen allowed. Those Italians? We’ve got to move them out of our city. Intern those Japanese.

Punching down began to be institutionalized and normalized. Cruelty was becoming a way of life and a norm. Tribe after tribe of the despised fled to a Promised Land, but each one demanded their position above the last, having never had anything before. People who had been hated and outcast had status and belonging at last — but only by punching down the next wave. So no mechanisms ever really developed to allow the Promised Land to be shared wisely, well, or reasonably. Might became right.

Now, American leaders tried to intervene every now and then. FDR’s second bill of rights, JFK’s vision for a fairer society, and so on. But they were not very succesful — because they were fighting a history of cruelty that they did not really understand: one that went to the heart of what it means to be American itself. So they never really said: “Wait. What do we all really have in common, us Americans? We are the despised and mocked of history. Its outcasts and its exiles. This is what unites us! Let us stop punching down, then. Otherwise, what have we really learned? We are only repeating the very history of cruelty that we tried to escape from.”

How sad. How funny. Americans came to a Promised Land — but they could not escape themselves. Each new wave, trying to rise above the next, built a world even more cruel than the old one. Punching down, down, down, endlessly.

So, today, here we are. Punching down has become a national institution, a norm, and a way of life. School shootings? Can’t ban guns — let the kids have “active shooter drills”. We are punching all the way down to our little five years olds. Life expectancy falling? Can’t have healthcare — let them self-medicate with opioids. We are punching down to the poorest. Education cost a fortune? Too bad, take out debt. We are punching down to our young people. I could give you endless examples. But perhaps you get the point by now.

What does it mean to be American? To really “be” — see, feel, think, act American, so much so that you are not self-aware of it, because it is unconscious, reflexive, invisible, this way of “being”?

Well, it means what it always has. Punching down, not lifting up. Punching down is hardwired into America by now, thanks to a unique history of settlers — who had never had any — punching the next wave down for relative hierarchical position. An attitude of cruelty was born. And so today cruelty is the point of its institutions, the purpose of its norms, and the linchpin of its perverse idea of virtue, that by punishing people, we can better them. It is all that Americans expect from each other — and give to each other. That is the terrible burden of a Promised Land that history’s despised warred among one another for domination of.

The problem is this. A society of people punching one another down must collapse. What else could it do? It cannot rise, can it? If I am punching you down, and I am punching the next person down below me, how can anyone ever lift anyone up? But without lifting one another up, a society cannot grow in quantity or quality of life. This, too, is what happened to Soviet Russia.

America has never reckoned with its history of cruelty. Instead, it developed a defensive mythology of being welcoming — even while every new wave of immigrants had to fight, sometimes quite literally little street by street, against the last wave, 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,.

A Promised Land is like a Garden of Eden. But who can live in the Garden peacefully but angels? Human beings, flawed, indelicate things, are only meant to be cast out— they are ever in conflict, in tension, hungry and ravenous. And that is never truer than for their most despised — who need to be healed most, or else will ravage their Gardens worst.

In this way, a Garden, given to the despised, is a war, waiting to happen. A war against itself. America is at just such a war, and has always been. The name of this war is cruelty. But the end of this war is not victory, but collapse.

I don’t say any of this to blame, shame, or judge. But only so that, perhaps, this history of violence can at last be reckoned with.


defensivelawyer (Jan 6, 2019 - 11:08 pm)


irishlaw (Jan 5, 2019 - 1:01 pm)

TI are you actually autistic?

demwave (Jan 5, 2019 - 2:15 pm)

America is not really cruel! IT IS HOWEVER THE MOST INDIVIDUALISTIC SOCIETY ON EARTH MAYBE EVER. Individualism is great for freedom but it sux if you arent getting what you deserve or want or both. We want those at the bottom to have something to eat and survive. That is why we have SNAP and MEDICAID. We will nor however support these people at a middle class lifestyle if they cant get off their fannies and do it themselves. Part of this, for better or worse is our heterogenous makeup. In Scandinavia a guy who has a run of bad luck is just like you and is your brother so let us all help him out. In America it aint like that. IN some neighborhoods music is loud at 11pm. IN others it is lights out at 10pm. It is easy for one to say that "those" people aint hustling and will get nowhere if they dont heed the dictum of Benjamin Franklin: EARLY TO BED AND EARLY TO RISE KEEPS A MAN HEALTHY WEALTHY AND WISE~!

theimmigrant (Jan 5, 2019 - 2:41 pm)

Excellent post.

gladigotaphdinstead (Jan 5, 2019 - 2:37 pm)

I don’t think he actually writes this stuff. He probably finds it on some reddit for losers and pastes it here. Same with the story about a guy who jerks and blows all his male friends and is shocked his gf doesn’t understand, because he claims most straight men do that.

phosita (Jan 5, 2019 - 5:04 pm)

I think that one explicitly mentioned Reddit.

midlaw (Jan 5, 2019 - 3:19 pm)

Good stuff. “Punching down” is the essential feature of the strictest clique system in the world. It’s why trump is president.

onefortheteam (Jan 5, 2019 - 4:32 pm)

I was expecting to read an essay on clique theory and I'm still not completely certain I was wrong.

midlaw (Jan 5, 2019 - 4:57 pm)

Tl;dr: Americans’ dna and history demands a society in which loser’s lose. America could not exist otherwise.

Edit: as pointed out by TI below, because of the necessity of clique in America, Americans, including perhaps especially including losers, take steps to ensure that losers lose.

theimmigrant (Jan 5, 2019 - 5:08 pm)

It is about the Genesis of Clique imho. As noted numerous times by the scholars of Qfora, America is unique in the sense that we go out of our way to put Losers in their place. Sure, Losers in other countries Lose just the same, but America is unique in the sense that everyone goes out of their way to keep the Loser down. JMO — YMMV.

wearyattorney (Jan 5, 2019 - 10:50 pm)

People have finite time. They prefer not to work in that finite time. They want to consume. So everyone wants to consume and not work. This is obviously not possible. In come the preps. The preps consume and don’t work (or don’t really have to work). They organize people and arrange working in light of this aspect of human nature. Their job is to manipulate the rest of society to produce and solve the contradiction of time and money. Their skill is manipulation. The Odyssey marks this transition: the warrior hero is replaced by the hero that knows how to manipulate and organize others (Odysseus). When they do their job, there is a balance, and when they become corrupt, everything becomes corrupt.

I suggest you read about the formation of the middle age Shogunate in Japan. The guy rose from the lowest position in society to become shogun and instituted the strictest caste system seen since then.

America is an advanced form of a very natural progression when manipulators go way too far.

The preps figured out how to manipulate the absolute worst aspects of our nature to keep us in line, as they get more and more and more voracious in what the consume relative to their contribution.

It’s not simply about punching down, it’s much, much worse. It’s a complete capture of the political dialectic to appease our worst instincts, and it’s carefully constructed.

I was listening to Chris Hedges (liberal) and, while explaining how we are being pillaged by bankers, he said that a teacher should make what a doctor makes. So you are a working stiff doctor with 300k in loans that just finished medical school at 30, and you hear that. You see a parasite like Romney, and know the guy is a parasite, but your choice is vote for a guy like Romney or vote for Cortes who is going to try and equalize doctor and teacher. Teachers should understand that they have no business making doctor salaries, but their seething envy is carefully manipulated into a choice: you either let the prep steal more or you will get bulldozed harder. No politician is going to really go after real rent seeking behavior until a total collapse happens.

Envy, sloth, anger, etc. We are degrading because the top is corrupt. And this makes everyone else corrupt. It makes those who want demand from those who produce, and those who produce harden their hearts. As this happens, the top is taking more and more and more.

But it isn’t punching down per se, it’s full spectrum dominance and exploitation of the worst aspect of human nature.

If you want to get philosophical, it’s a crucifix of the spirit of empathy. The fifty percent of this country still working is seeing that any goodwill to try and help the misfortunate isn’t really intended to help the misfortunate, but it’s a tool of the .01 percent to use the bottom fifty percent against the rest of the population. That kills the spirit of empathy and produces what we have, but the poor are complicit.

It’s like when Democrats were telling auto workers that they were entitled to 150k salaries to mark who is going to the bathroom on the line. What wound up happening is said workers lost the 30-70k they really are entitled to for being citizens of the country.

The fish rots from the head down.

midlaw (Jan 5, 2019 - 11:45 pm)

This makes no sense.

wearyattorney (Jan 6, 2019 - 12:19 am)

I rambled a bit, I admit, but it’s not punching down.

The people at the top are taking advantage of our worst impulses to pillage the country. Envy being one of the big weapons right now.

A guy like Romney should have no support. He has support because people wage slaves can’t carry anymore of a burden and the Cortez of the world want to put an even bigger burden on them.

gladigotaphdinstead (Jan 6, 2019 - 12:06 am)

Chris hedges is (I assume) implying that we need to raise teachers salaries to meet their societal value, which is close to doctors. This would also incentivize Smart and Talented individuals to become teachers rather than doctors, lawyers, and bankers. Especially lawyers and bankers, whom have a low to negative societal value.

I guarantee you he wasn’t saying that doctors salaries should be like 45k, which is what your average teacher probably makes.

wearyattorney (Jan 6, 2019 - 12:17 am)

This is why the parasites are going to win because the public is stuck between absurdities.

Teaches do not have anywhere near the same level of stress, debt load, or responsibility as physicians. They also don’t have to delay gratification until their 30s like doctors do in order to be trained to do their job.

But I understand teachers don’t want to accept that fact, just like auto workers didn’t want to accept that fifty dollars an hour wasn’t reasonable.

The big time parasites have the productive portion of the population by the nut sack. It’s really game over.

midlaw (Jan 6, 2019 - 1:47 am)

“The big time parasites”

The fundamental problem with your worldview is that you fail to recognize that the rich parasites make is so that wagec*cks can’t have a good income. You side with the parasites instead of recognizing that something better could exist. You are the classic example of the mean spirited loser punching down at slightly lower-level losers.

You have nothing to lose but your chains, but they seem to comfort you.

wearyattorney (Jan 6, 2019 - 3:35 am)

It’s the Losers that think they can take over the system and impose equality that have historically been responsible for the worst atrocities.

Nature is hierarchical, equality isn’t possible. The people on the bottom need to stop wanting to bring down their betters, and start wanting a fair shake (right to compete) and to not be brutalized by their betters.

If you are a teacher, unless you do something entrepreneurial, you can’t make a doctors salary, period and end of story. You can fight for a fair wage, eg something that can allow you to live a reasonable quality of life and give your kids a shot at a better life, but the moment a government makes you equal to a doctor, the person doing the equalizing is going to compensate by leveling some heavy duty abuses elsewhere and society degrades.

Demanding equality from betters is when the trouble starts, as it’s really masking hatred and envy, not some desire to improve things.

gladigotaphdinstead (Jan 6, 2019 - 10:35 am)

It doesn’t cost 300k to become a doctor outside the USA, where all education now costs absurd amounts of money due to systemic issues and abuse.

You just keep going back to random red herrings like American medical school debt to justify the fact that our system is set up so the most qualified people aren’t interested in positions where they could use their skill and intellect to educate and train the next generations and thus ensure a lasting, vibrant and powerful economy because the pay is too low.

wearyattorney (Jan 6, 2019 - 5:12 pm)

The systemic abuse associated with higher education stems from liberal cons trying to give access to education to everyone. Therein lies the rub: those advocating for equality are usually far, far worse than the parasitic preps currently governing the country. There isn’t a single conservative governing the education system, and here we are...

I’m giving one example in response to the original screed explaining why it isn’t a matter of losers punching down. Equality isn’t impossible, some people work harder, are smarter, and are willing to make sacrifices and take risks other people are not willing to take. The teacher/doctor anecdote is an example of where Liberal zealots are trying to equalize to things that cannot be made equal. A person becoming a doctor has to dedicate more time, work longer hours, assume more risk, delay gratification at a higher level than someone becoming a teacher. The way the parasitic finance class keeps the system in check is by pointing out these absurd positions on the left, “yeah, I’m a giant parasite paying no taxes, but the other side want to make doctors equal to teachers and bums equal to workers, you choose how you want it.”

Nature is a hierarchy. The left should be focused on making sure that the hierarchy doesn’t become overly abusive, not trying to equalize things that are by their nature unequal.

Teachers are done with their education at 22, maybe 24, work half the year, and have relatively high job security, especially in today’s environment. There is a reason the salary is lower than professionals that work longer, harder, under more pressure, etc

On a side note: the problem with teachers salaries is regional because the whole country has been gutted and the money moved to the coasts. Teachers in NY, NJ, Cali, and Illinois do fine, more than fine actually. And do you know how they thank the states that allow them to do so well relative to their private sector counterparts fighting to survive in light of the storm of globalization and illegal immigration: they move out of these states to low tax jurisdictions. Human nature is selfish. That’s how it is. You can’t change it, and every attempt to do so ends in a complete slaughter.

theimmigrant (Jan 6, 2019 - 7:54 pm)

Adequate post

theimmigrant (Jan 6, 2019 - 1:15 pm)

In my home country, MedicalDoctors make 50k.

wearyattorney (Jan 6, 2019 - 5:12 pm)

That’s why your home country sucks.

theimmigrant (Jan 6, 2019 - 5:14 pm)

Blank this post.

zuma (Jan 5, 2019 - 11:58 pm)

You took 4 minutes of my life and I want them back.


mrlollipop (Jan 6, 2019 - 4:38 am)

It is good that Chinese communist got rid of 99.99% of the aristocratic and intellectual classes in the cultural revolution and other political movements Now China does not really have prep class, which I think it is more good than bad.

normshow (Jan 7, 2019 - 12:03 am)

I was excited because i thought this was the first original contribution to Clique Scholarship in a long time, but to my disappointment, it's just the ramblings of an irrelevant blogger. However, one of my new favorite pastimes is investigating people who are trying to present themselves as important, successful entrepreneurs on the internet. This author (Umair Haque) looks fishy...

The original title of the article was, "Why America is the World’s Most Uniquely Cruel Society
Or, How Punching Down Became a Way of Life."


Eudaimonia & Co. sounds like some sort of business, but it seems like it's just this guy writing generic blogs about politics.

If you Google him, some online profiles claim that he is director of Havas Media Lab (a defunct website) and Bubblegeneration (another defunct blog). His make-believe description of Bubblegeneration is "an agenda-setting advisory boutique that helped shape the strategies of investors, entrepreneurs, and blue chip companies across media and consumer industries."

His link to Harvard Business Review is also defunct, and he has a Patreon page (32 donors = maybe $200/month).

His 2011 book was published by Harvard Business Review, so maybe at one time he had some important connections, but this seems like another run-of-the-mill near-40 guy poorly trying to pose as an internet authority on society. Would an influential business leader really be asking for a few hundred dollars per month in internet handouts on Patreon?

normshow (Jan 7, 2019 - 12:35 am)

Here he is giving a presentation that deserves the Billy Madison Award for rambling, incoherent chatter that in no way resembles a rational thought:


He tries so hard to sound important! Truly cringe-worthy content.

corneroffice (Jan 7, 2019 - 2:23 am)

Please provide Cliff notes. Thanks in advance TI.

theimmigrant (Jan 7, 2019 - 7:14 am)


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