Norm Pattis ponders why no one stopped to help a Hartford hit-and-run victim. He thinks it has to do with our brutal human nature:
My sense is that in neighborhoods all across the United States many people shudder behind masks of indifference in fear of one another. We have a state that taxes, we have police officers who patrol the streets, we put people in prison (2.3 million with more every day), but we lack empathy and fellow feeling. Despite all the trappings of a society, we lack any sense of common bonds and community. We step into the public places much as Hobbes' folks walked in the state of nature. Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short for many Americans. The state of nature is returning, claiming places like Park Street in Hartford and the East Side of Detroit, one street at a time.
People are cattle. They have no initiative. If someone had stopped his car and started stopping traffic, people would have obeyed.
You can control a herd of cattle with a couple of good cattle dogs. You can control a few thousand people with just a couple of authority figures. We have "elites" in society precisely because people cannot govern themselves. Even if they had competency, they would lack initiative.
People will do just about whatever they are told. But that's the catch: They must be told what to do.
Otherwise, they wallow about chewing cud.
So I don't think it was a mask of indifference that caused people to drive away. They drove away because cattle move in one direction until the dogs direct them otherwise.