The Triumph of Meanness: Americas War Against Its Better Self Nicolaus Mills

ISBN: 9780395822968

Published:

Hardcover

260 pages


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The Triumph of Meanness: Americas War Against Its Better Self  by  Nicolaus Mills

The Triumph of Meanness: Americas War Against Its Better Self by Nicolaus Mills
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 260 pages | ISBN: 9780395822968 | 4.78 Mb

As the 1990s draw to a close, it is clear that America is not the same nation it was when the decade began, writes Nicolaus Mills. There is a meanness in our public and private lives that has changed the way we see ourselves and the future. Like theMoreAs the 1990s draw to a close, it is clear that America is not the same nation it was when the decade began, writes Nicolaus Mills. There is a meanness in our public and private lives that has changed the way we see ourselves and the future. Like the bumper stickers that ask Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when his country needs him?

we have crossed a line that not long ago marked the outer bounds of decency. The new meanness, Mills argues, is reflected in many ways, not just in the political shift to the right that has sent welfare back to the states for the first time since the New Deal and that urges us to cut Head Start while adding billions more to the defense budget than the military requested.

The new meanness is also style and attitude. We hear it on talk radio when G. Gordon Liddy advises his listeners on the best way to shoot a federal agent. We see it on pay-per-view television in the popularity of extreme fighting, in which combatants slug it out in bare-knuckle brawls held in steel cages.

We read about it after law officials raid a California sweatshop where workers were kept under guard and paid fifty cents an hour for sewing. Central to the new meanness, Mills contends, is our feeling that we are no longer a coherent nation bound together by our history. With the end of the Cold War, we have come to apply the language and thinking once used to demonize our enemies abroad to those we believe threaten us internally.

Our fears about the economy, combined with the end of the civil rights movement as a moral beacon, have led us to act on the basis of a lifeboat ethics that rewards ruthlessness. For Mills, the only way to end the new meanness is to first recognize the grip it hason us- The Triumph of Meanness is his diagnosis of how, over the course of the nineties, we have, undermined our better selves.



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