Lee: Well, basically every Chinese have this “I am superior and these people are inferior” thing…
HongKonger and Taiwanese thinks they’re superior than mainland Chinese; Shanghainese think they’re superior than all the rest of the country, city folks think they’re superior than rural folks; Southerns thinks they’re superior than Northerners and vice versa; science students thinks they’re superior than liberal art students; kids think my parents/dogs/toys are superior than yours… basically everyone finds something superior about themselves.
I have no doubt rednecks also feel superior than other people. I think it’s the competitive nature in human. Whether people say it out loud or not is just a matter of personality. I heard that American culture encourage people to brag about themselves.
We don’t really have that in this country. I can’t think of any state in the US where people think they are better than other people. And I can’t think of any region in the country that thinks it is better than other regions.
You aren’t supposed to think like that if you are an American.
STEM students think that their major is the only rational one. They would like to make it so that STEM and business are the only things that are offered at a university. I doubt if STEM people think they are better than Liberal Arts students. They just think that Liberal Arts degrees are useless and a waste of money.
I have two Liberal Arts or Humanities degrees – three is you count teaching.
I have hardly met one single person who has ever told me that those degrees are useless or stupid or who ever said that their degree was better than my degree.
Rednecks don’t really think they are better than other types of people, at least not that I am aware of.
A lot of Americans don’t like people from some states or regions or maybe they don’t like city people or country rednecks, but they won’t say it is because I am superior to them. They will say that people from some state are living in the Dark Ages or they are backwards, racist people. They’re not really inferior – they just have a point of view that is not compatible with modern society.
A lot of liberals hate conservatives, and conservatives hate liberals. But liberals don’t think they are better than conservatives to my knowledge. We just think they are backwards, wrongheaded people with a frankly disgusting and immoral point of view. They’re not inferior though. We might say they are bad. But bad doesn’t mean inferior. It means they have a political view that you feel is very harmful and dangerous.
Conservatives think the same about liberals. But I am not aware that conservatives think they are superior to liberals. They just think we are bad, wrongheaded or even evil. But in the US, evil doesn’t mean inferior. In this sense, it means that the liberal POV is so pernicious and dangerous that it is going to be harmful to society.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much American society opposes bragging, talking about superior people and inferior people, or acting like you are better than other people. If you go around all the time talking about how you or your state or your region or you ethnic group or your college major is superior to other states, regions, ethnics or majors, pretty soon you will not have any friends. I learned this pretty early on in life.
If I went out today and starting talking about how Californians are superior to people from other states, it would be very soon that someone would tell me to shut up. And I live in California!
I couldn’t even say the West is better. People would tell me to shut up then too.
Of course if I say Whites are better, I will get told off in a hurry. Or Germans, or British, or whoever. I am going to get told off before I even say much of anything along those lines.
Certainly if I said my college majors were superior to some other inferior majors, I would get told to shut up too.
I heard that American culture encourage people to brag about themselves.
You are not supposed to talk about the superior people and the inferior people in the US. It’s called “putting on airs” and it is looked down upon to a profound degree. Nobody, but nobody, but nobody likes it! You will get told to shut up real quick, and if you don’t learn your lesson, soon no one will talk to you.
Now granted, rich and middle class people think they are better than poor people. A lot of Whites or Asians think they are better. There is still some ethnic chauvinism around.
Nevertheless, I have had a low income for decades. I talk to people who make very good incomes sometimes, and they are very friendly to me. Some of them were even quite close to me, as in relatives. My income situation is not brought up. I am intelligent, highly educated, and polite, and a lot of higher income people think people like that are interesting people regardless of their income. So while I do not have much money, I probably act like someone who makes more money than I do. My income may be low, but my behavior is middle class, at the least.
Sure people think in this superior-inferior way, but you won’t hear people talk like that a whole lot. It is considered in very bad taste to brag about how rich you are or even to visibly look down on people of lower classes. If you do so openly, you are going to get told to knock it off in one way or another. I guarantee that you will be very disliked.
There was a guy at my junior college whose parents were rich. I went on a ski trip with him and other students to Colorado. From early on in the trip, he bragged all the time about how rich his family was. It wasn’t long before everyone on the whole trip hated him. People talked about him a lot behind his back. Others started making subtle remarks telling him to knock it the Hell off. I roomed with the guy and three other guys. Towards the end of the weeklong trip, I made some oblique comment about how his bragging about being rich was really angering a lot of people in the group and that people had been communicating this to him all week. I didn’t come out and say it. Instead I said it in a sort of hidden code. He figured out what I meant, and he told me in an annoyed tone that he had gotten the message loud and clear.
We are very much a class-oriented society, but we are supposed to pretend that we are all equal.
Americans probably hate Communism more than any other people, but there is this odd attitude in the US that we are somehow a classless society or at least that class is something that doesn’t even exist here. This is seen in the attitude of so many Americans that they are “middle class.” A guy making $15,000 a year might describe himself as middle class. Republican politicians making $400-500,000 a year routinely describe themselves as middle class. It is as if the rich and the poor are not even there – instead everyone is this sort of hazy, floating, undefined middle class sort of person.
I lived in a working class White community for a while. There were a lot of well to do people there who had high paying jobs. Everyone was very nice to everyone else, even the trashmen, the clerks in the 7-11’s, and gas stations, basically all of what you would call lousy, low paying jobs. It is quite amazing to see how polite an attorney will be to a trashman or gas station clerk in a town like that. There is also this attitude in White culture that “you never put down a man for working at a job.” It goes along with “any job is a good job.” If you had a good job and treated the trashman or gas station clerk with this superior to inferior disdain, a lot of people would see you and think very poorly of you. It is just not something you are supposed to do.
Once I asked my mother if she thought anyone was inferior. “How about some serial killer on death row?” I asked. She shook her head. “It’s not a matter of superior and inferior. He’s not inferior – he’s just bad. It’s a moral matter or right and wrong, good and bad.”
I am aware that Chinese think like that along with Asians in general. Indians are notorious for this thinking. It may be common in some other parts of globe. Americans consider this sort of thinking to be a sign of a backwards culture.