> the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system.
Americans have to get over their fear of socialism and accept that, all other things being equal, a community that works together is stronger and more prosperous than one that does not.
Except that the concept of "self reliance" is enshrined in the US constitution and is such a part of the American psyche that I don't know if it can ever be removed.
(bear with me .. this may seem like a left wing rant, but it is not)
For example this is seen in the 2nd amendment where the right to bear arms is enshrined. But why would you give someone the right to individually bear arms? That can only be because you want to allow them to be able to unilaterally act in using those arms. Thus in the 2nd amendment you are stating that an ideal of being an American is the power to act (for better or worse) as an individual.
How can you convince a society to act in a way that is un-selfish when the their society is fundamentally founded on the opposite?