Thomas Ramey Watson

Our culture of cruelty

There is a deeper order of politics behind this murderous act, one that the American public is inclined to ignore.

More specifically, the general responses to this violent act are symptomatic of a society that separates private injuries from public considerations, refusing to connect individual acts to broader social


I want to suggest that underlying the Arizona shootings is a culture of cruelty that has become so widespread in American society that the violence it produces is largely taken for granted, often dismissed in terms that cut it off from any larger systemic forces at work in the society.

The culture of cruelty is important for thinking through how entertainment and politics now converge in ways that fundamentally transform how we understand and imagine politics in the current historical moment – a

moment when the central issue of getting by is no longer about working to get ahead but struggling simply to survive. And many groups, which are considered marginal because they are poor, unemployed, people of color, elderly or young, have not just been excluded from “the American dream,” but have become utterly redundant and disposable, waste products of a society that no longer considers them of any value.

Read excellent article.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *