— David Brin
A rant about stupidity... and the coming civil war... (2009), Context: Step back for a minute and note an important piece of psychohistory — that every generation of Americans faced adversaries who called us "decadent cowards and pleasure-seeking sybarites (wimps), devoid of any of the virtues of manhood."
Elsewhere, I mark out this pattern, showing how every hostile nation, leader or meme had to invest in this story, for a simple reason. Because Americans were clearly happier, richer, smarter, more successful and far more free than anyone else. Hence, either those darned Yanks must know a better way of living (unthinkable!)... or else they must have traded something for all those surface satisfactions.
Something precious. Like their cojones. Or their souls. A devil's bargain. And hence — (our adversaries told themselves) — those pathetic American will fold up, like pansies, as soon as you give them a good push.
It is the one uniform trait shown by every* vicious, obstinate and troglodytic enemy of the American Experiment. A wish fantasy that convinced Hitler and Stalin and the others that urbanized, comfortable New Yorkers and Californians and all the rest cannot possibly have any guts, not like real men. A delusion shared by the King George, the plantation-owners, the Nazis, Soviets and so on, down to Saddam and Osama bin Laden. A delusion that our ancestors disproved time and again, decisively — though not without a lot of pain.