America has always had a high and a low culture, similar to that of the English or the French. But the relationship between the two is expressed very differently than the English or the French, particularly in the political sphere. Throughout it’s history, American high and low culture have both more-or-less agreed with each other on the core principles governing the society, derived mainly from western Protestantism, English common law tradition, and Catholic intellectualism filtered through the late Enlightenment.
When I first entered the working world in the late nineteen-eighties, there were a few essential social ground rules that you had to learn, in order to be successful. The first was that my employer does not exist for my benefit. My role in the business is to provide some tangible value toward the end goal of the company: product and profit. To the extent that I benefited the firm, I would receive benefits in kind, after a bit of negotiation.