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Modern Problems: Trickle-Down Cruelty

Updated on May 8, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Social issues can only be remedied by a collective acceptance of those opinions we view as opposing our own.


As we move further and further into the future, our tactics for subjugating others are gaining egregious amounts of attention and refinement. Performative cruelty has become so commonplace that in pointing it out no one understands why it isn't totally normal to, essentially, bully people for the sake of putting on a show for others. Now I think I may have devised a novel phrase to describe the roots of this behavior, and I'd like to explore it with you today in a manner as fair and impartial as I can muster.

If you haven't already, but you're interested in taking part in the game of politics on a serious and/or professional level, I implore you to go pick up this helpful guide, The 48 Laws of Power. It is an indispensable guide to recognizing and utilizing the tactics used to manipulate the game of power, and can provide you with the defenses necessary to avoid dastardly individuals who take part in the system of trickle-down cruelty.

The novel phrase is trickle-down cruelty, and it manages to provide the essence of what I'm about to tell you quite astutely.

Defining Trickle-Down Cruelty

Now I already know that many people have a distaste for any pithy term or phrase that calls attention to their atrocious behavior, and that is the reason I'm going to continue coming up with and using such terms and phrases. You'd think that these same people who get upset, claim they aren't acting this way and it is completely normal, would be able to disregard such terms and phrases as hogwash with no input whatsoever. Alas, the terms tend to be spot on and in their attempts to discredit the definitions all they do is legitimize them.

Trickle-down cruelty: The effect of the behavior of those in power, the ones at the pinnacle of society if you will, on the classes of society found beneath them. Further, it is a helpful descriptor for the frequent disconnection between leaders, their behavior, their people, and the subsequent problems bred in society. As the leaders adopt better tactics to get under their enemies' skin, so do the people beneath them observe and try to emulate such behavior.

Concisely: Monkey see, monkey do; what the upper echelons do to subjugate one another it is then taken and sloppily recreated by the lower rungs of society. For those in power it is just business, for the lower echelons it is purely personal and damaging.

Let's take a look at the intricacies of this serious societal issue.


Politics and Dissociation From Reality

I'm going to start this off with saying that less than 1% of society has any sway over politics, and that if you are not one of those in the marginal statistics then I don't understand why you even try to take part. Chances are that this article is directed at you, because the majority of individuals trying and failing to be armchair politicians are using performative cruelty to get their own points across. What you see going on in politics, the despicable behavior full of lies and backstabbing, isn't what is taking place behind closed doors; namely, the finer nuances of politics and social issues are well-kept secrets behind paths of strict education and practice.

Nonetheless I do not want you ignoring politics, I want you to be aware of your dissociation from reality. It cannot be argued that performative cruelty isn't the new social norm, but the difference between a peasant and their rulers is that their rulers are getting objective gain from their feigned performative cruelty. Take notice, I said the leaders are feigning performative cruelty, and that is the difference between the upper echelons of society and the pitiful armchair politician.

The people at the top, they don't care about you and your problems, they have entire nations to run and all they need to do is keep you happy enough to maintain functionality. However, more important than their nations are their power and those around them who see them stay in that position and rising higher. You do nothing in the way of bringing these men and women greater power in the long-term, and when you practice performative cruelty solely to hurt your enemy you're only proving how narrow and useless your scope is compared to real leaders and politicians.

Concisely: Politicians and leaders hurt each other, build one another back up, betray their own party at every turn, and bend the knee to nothing but long-term power. If it suits a person in power, they will go against everything they claim to believe in with a smile; everyone playing the game will respect their decisions regardless of what they tell the public, that is the true game of power. At the lowest rungs, the 9 to 5 level people, we see everyone out for blood rather than long-term power; the lower rungs love nothing more than to stand atop the burning pyre of trickle-down cruelty just to be the last one standing.

Trickle-down cruelty ends with the most ignorant poisoning the masses with vitriol; the same vitriol they think their enemies are sowing.

The media and their tactics make this even worse.

I see people hurting one another, playing at being kings and queens of their own sad kingdoms. Then at the end of the day they cry as power slips through their fingers like fine sand, and the illusion of power is over.

— Kyler J. Falk

Appropriation of Media Tactics

Let's establish something here in this section right off the bat, knock this point right out of the park: The media's job is to upset you so that you watch their programs longer, and then you'll be so upset that you go imbibe in the other mediums they own without even knowing it. Profit is their end goal, not informing the masses.

That being said I cannot dismiss that they do tend to throw in some news with their performative cruelty, but that doesn't stop every segment here in America being peppered with performative cruelty at every turn, the main symptom of trickle-down cruelty. Now most often we see sensationalism rather than factual reporting being the key to ratings, and this is an extremely easy tactic to manipulate to your own ends. In the hands of a master journalist, sensationalism tends to spread stories like uncontrollable wildfire.

Just look at what I am doing here, I'm using the symptoms of trickle-down cruelty to write this controversial piece. Factual and anecdotal as it may be, sensationalism tends to really get the point across. However, I'm attempting to use it for a good cause where others simply want you to feel bad for any belief you do not share with them.

Like flies to poop, so does the system of trickle-down cruelty attract people from all walks of life.

The solution to trickle-down cruelty lies in your ability to empathize and be compassionate, traits and capacity that many seem to lack.

Do you feel that taking part in politics should also mean that you cannot be fair and impartial?

See results

Solution: Understanding Your Limitations

Politics, at least as it concerns the situation here in America (North America, U.S.A. for you annoying pedants), is merely symbolic at the societal level. As such, you need to take a deep look into your own contribution to the problems and ask what it is you could be doing better, what it is you could be doing to lessen the blow of trickle-down cruelty. Don't you want to have the opportunity to make your immediate community, your nation, and maybe even the world a better place?

I know I would like to make the world a more loving and accepting place for all, so I bring it back to my point of knowing my limitations. The extent of my current power in the world lies within my immediate community, those within walking distance of me and the ones who read my content. Those are the people I keep my attentions on and I try to treat them like I want to be treated.

You would not walk into someone's home, or a room full of strangers, and start insulting them and yelling that their beliefs are wrong. Equally you would not drag them on stage by their hair and begin to berate and insult them (unless you would, in which case you're not alone in your terrible behavior). So I ask this of you: Why do you feel okay doing all this, taking part in the symptoms of trickle-down cruelty, manipulating others around you for the sole purpose of hurting them?

Take the time to be educated, fair, and impartial; do not be a part of the system of trickle-down cruelty!


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