Interesting thread, though I'm not sure it was Reality TV that did all the breaking. I think the 1980s-90s removal of all social safety catches on capitalism pushed us to 'everyone competes'

<<Been pushing around some concepts about current culture today in my head, centered around reality television breaking our society. Notions of nuance, de-escalation, humility, and common service have been completely turned around by reality “TV” in favor of engineered conflict. >>

And I'm still not over my angry that it was the so-called *left*, as much as the right, that completely bought into the 'competition and individualism are good for the soul, y'all, cooperation just makes you weak and soft' mantra.

I know anger isn't helpful and so I want to be over it. But I'm not, yet.

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But the OP's thesis that Reality TV is fundamentally bad for us, that it artificially creates conflict and makes conflict fun... that I agree with. It's why I avoid the genre wherever possible. I just hate seeing people fight each other when they could work together.

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I am still completely gobsmacked each time I think about Ayn Rand and realise, again, that there was a dedicated, organised movement in American culture since the 1950s to literally *call empathy and altruism evil*. To make people less loving. And that very high ranking politicians, businesspeople.... and religious leaders, who know and teach better... bought into it.

That stuns me. Still does. Every time.

How. How did that happen? How did we let these people, this ideology, run our society?

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@natecull there are certain people who literally cannot understand why anyone would feel empathy or show kindness towards their fellow man. To them, anyone that claims to be able to, must be lying for the optics, because that's what the only situation they can imagine themselves being nice to others. It's amazing how they pretty much out themselves by accusing people of virtue signaling or being fake. It's pure projection.

@Yokai And what worries me is that this particular message and philosophy resonated so strongly with the people who went to elite business schools in the 1950s to 1980s, and beyond.

@Yokai @natecull

Sure, except for all the times that it's cynicism rather than psychopathy at work.

@jankoekepan @natecull sorry, wasn't trying to paint them as psychopaths or sociopaths. I was one of these people and yeah, it was definitely cynicism that made me think nobody could actually care.

@Yokai @jankoekepan @natecull

(Aside) Social Democracy =/= Democratic Socialism

Large parts of Europe have made a relative success of Social Democracy as a fundamentally capitalist system but with state organised social programmes. Meanwhile, some of the old Socialist countries are attempting to bolt democracy onto State run, planned economies. These two things are very different. But US commentators tend to be bad at confusing them, often for ideological reasons.

And then there's China.

@Yokai @natecull

OK, it's just that you said "literally cannot understand"

Someone who could understand, but doesn't believe, is cynical. Someone whose brain does not afford that understanding is probably a psychopath.

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