Phoniness and North America: 1
One of the most widespread and persistent comments made by immigrants about “native” white North Americans (including Canadians) and Australians/ New Zealanders is-
They are phony.
People from places as diverse as Russia, Ukraine, India, Jamaica, Argentina and even England share that view about these groups. While other dislikeable people like Japanese, Swiss, French may be seen as racist, greedy and rude or Scandinavians may be seen as passive-aggressive, it seems that phoniness is a uniquely new world phenomena.
So what makes phoniness worse than other negative attributes?
Phony is another word for untrustworthy. Societies with large numbers of untrustworthy individuals are intrinsically unstable. Some of you might say- “so what? it has worked till now.”
There are two major interlinked reasons that it has worked till now- population growth and technological progress have kept the struggle for resources to a minimum. Untrustworthiness becomes a huge liability once the struggle for resources becomes intense.
I have a feeling that comments on this post will necessitate another post in this series.