Competitive disdain

Ah, the contempt of it. The glut of contempt we seem to have achieved. Our own disguised contempt for ‘primitives’, the contempt of those who left the Culture when the war was declared for those who chose to fight the Idirans; the contempt so many of our own people feel for Special Circumstances… the contempt we all guess the Minds must feel for us… and elsewhere; the Idirans’ contempt for us, all of us humans; and human contempt for Changers. A federated disgust, a galaxy of scorn. Us with our busy, busy little lives, finding no better way to pass our years than in competitive disdain.
Iain M. Banks
Consider Phlebas