The political Left dominates some of the important institutions of Western society today. Besides controlling mainstream media and higher education, the Left is powerfully entrenched in the world of the arts. To get a grant, a museum showing, a book deal, or a good review from the intelligentsia, it helps to be a leftist.
I recently flew to San Francisco for a job interview. A friend of mine, who had recently moved to San Francisco herself, was kind enough to pick me up from the airport. As she drove from the airport to my hotel, her phone was plugged in to her car speakers. The volume was so low that I think she didn’t even notice that music from her phone was playing. Whether intentionally or not, the song that played on repeat during the entire trip was “Hotel California” by the Eagles. I didn’t want to complain or distract her from the road, so I just let it play.
There are a few possible motives for the common tendency of people to try to impress each other. The first is a desire for gain. If you impress an investor, you might get money from him, and if you impress a beautiful woman, you might get a date from her. But this does not explain all attempts to impress others. People try to impress their friends who are already willing to help them, and they even try to impress strangers who they meet in passing and who they will probably never see again.