The news of Mitt Romney's cruelty toward a fellow student at the posh Cranbrook School, combined with the recent stories about how future financial titans currently enrolled at Dartmouth haze the pledges in their fraternities, plus the casual sadism of George W Bush at ultra-elite Skull and Bones at Yale, should make that clear.
These are, of course, just "youthful pranks," but they still have an unconscious purpose: to inure the future leaders of the nation to the suffering of others. Specifically: to teach that fitting in with one's peers has a higher value than one's natural compassion or reluctance to cause another person pain or humiliation.
The object of this teaching is not the ringleader, who is already well on the way to the sociopathology called executive leadership, nor the victim, who doesn't matter, but the boys in the middle. What remnants of a moral code are they willing to give up for the approval of the leader? It starts with condoning a forced haircut, but proceeds onto beatings and rape, and then laying off workers and then bombing raids on civilians.