American society and history since 1965 have been profoundly shaped by a dominant class of practical strategists—gamers—willing to bend or discard societal rules to further their individual goals. Whether the gamers are politicians, business leaders, doctors, attorneys, scholars, or civil servants, they lean toward a mechanical approach to personal advancement and impute to others the cynical realism that pervades their own thinking.

Alfred J Claassen is emeritus professor of sociology at California State University, Fresno.
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