No Time for Losers

American Individualism—

demands personal effort and stimulates great energy to achieve!

yet

it provides little encouragement for nurturance,

taking a sink-or-swim approach to moral development as well as to economic success.

It admires toughness and strength!

and fears softness and weakness.

It adulates winners!

while showing contempt for losers,

a contempt that can descend with crushing weight on those considered, either by others or by themselves, to be moral or social failures.

Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Committment in Public Life, Robert Bellah, et al, Editors, p. xiv. Exclamation points and italics mine. Reformatted for readability.

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