Industrial America, in the interest of generating constant profits — i.e. longevity in the market–came up with “planned obsolescence” or “failure by design.” That strategy has been transferred to the Republican party, an organization that, like an industrial enterprise, has succumbed to monopolistic tendencies. Longevity in office has supplanted actual achievement, much as a constant profit has supplanted quality and innovation.
For a while, the party leaders even admitted as much by propounding the ideology of “creative destruction.” And that is what has now morphed into planning to fail.
If the objective of public office is power and power, to be felt, has to have a negative impact or hurt, then planning to fail is, like a controlled demolition, the preferred alternative. Not to mention that failure carries within it the seeds of longevity. Failure acts as an impulse to try and try again. Success, on the other hand, is terminal and raises the question, “what next.” which means that success is also more risky than failure, making the latter more attractive to the risk-averse.
Shorter version. People who get their jollies from punishing others don’t want to change.
I think it is probably unfair and unwise to see the relationship from the victims’ perspective. It may be correct that the abused get used to being abused. But, I would argue that abuse/deprivation/torment/subjugation is essentially different from life-threatening aggression for the simple reason that the object is injury, not death, and injury cannot be effectively defended against by the victim, since defense involves the risk of additional injury and turns the victim into the agent of his own abuse.
It is telling that our legal system countenances all kinds of abuse as, at most, a minor infraction, a misdemeanor. Negligence, even on an official level, hardly gets punished at all. Public officials are routinely allowed to get away with not carrying out the duties for which they get paid. Not doing in the interest of some allegiance to external authority (religion or ideology or tradition) does not even register as malfeasance. So, for example, public officials can openly espouse depriving women of medical care and be praised for it. Why? Because there is a widespread conviction that public office holders are empowered to punish with secular force, whenever religious authorities fail to persuade individuals to deprive themselves for some “higher” good — their own sense of power and importance. Power has to hurt. But, if people can be persuaded to hurt themselves and deprive themselves of rights (by being compliant), so much the better. After all, the culture of obedience is both cowardly and lazy.