Paul Thomas: The U.S. Needs a New Mythology to Stop Blaming Victims

Diane Ravitch's blog

Paul Thomas uses “Hamlet” and allegory to make the point that the myth of rugged individualism is over, that we are ruled by an oligarchy, and that we must redirect our belief system to recognize reality.

He writes:

“The U.S. is trapped in our false myths—the rugged individual, pulling one’s self up by the bootstraps—and as a result, we persist in blaming the poor for being poor, women for being the victims of sexism and rape, African Americans for being subject to racism. Our pervasive cultural ethos is that all failures lie within each person’s own moral frailties, and thus within each person’s ability to overcome. We misread the success of the privileged as effort and the struggles of the impoverished as sloth—and then shame those in poverty by demanding that they behave in ways that the privilege are never required to assume.

“We refuse to step away from the…

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