Mercy for thee but not for me

By on July 28, 2013 11:27:55 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
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There's a great line in Atlas Shrugs that goes like this: "You concluded I was the safest person in the world to spit on because I have power over you and that I would be tied by the fear of hurting your feelings by reminding you of it."

Our society seems to have taken that view en-masse in recent years.

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July 28, 2013 2:31:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Atlas Shrugged... Hank Reardon "All right, let's get it straight: you're an object of charity who's exhausted his credit long ago."and it was concerning his brother. Yes, it seems to be the norm, now...sadly.

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July 28, 2013 5:03:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I had someone tell me that I have a responsibility to be nice to people because they're dependent on me.

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July 28, 2013 7:57:33 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

My father owned a service station... Sinclair ( long since gone).  People came from far away because he was an honest man, and treated them well.  He genuinely liked people and was good to his customers and employees. I believe being nice to people is everyone's responsibility. 

Of course I could have just said, the person is wrong.

 

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July 28, 2013 8:29:37 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting teddybearcholla,
My father owned a service station... Sinclair ( long since gone). People came from far away because he was an honest man, and treated them well.

Could be that once they'd come from far away they now NEEDED the service station to fill up....  [some deBono thinking]...

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July 28, 2013 9:26:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I had someone tell me that I have a responsibility to be nice to people because they're dependent on me.

 

 

 

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July 29, 2013 2:46:50 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

"Nobody can truly make you happy--or miserable--but yourself."

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July 29, 2013 6:39:44 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Could be that once they'd come from far away they now NEEDED the service station to fill up.
 ... you're right in those cases...

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July 29, 2013 8:10:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Sinperium,
"Nobody can truly make you happy--or miserable--but yourself."

Hardly true.

If someone doubled my salary he would 'truly make me happy'.

Conversely.... if someone halved my salary it would 'truly make me miserable'.

No input at all from me ....

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July 29, 2013 8:22:44 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

There are somethings I don't have to think about. Paying it forward is one of them. What's good for the goose...

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July 29, 2013 8:36:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's interesting that people are taking this to be a point about whether or not to be nice to others.  That's not what Rand is talking about at all (at least not in this part of the book).  She's talking about whether or not people have the right to expect YOU to be nice to THEM regardless of what THEY do to YOU.  You are more capable/successful/wealthy than I therefore I should be able to do anything I want to you and you should still be nice/charitable towards me.  Her point actually takes it further.  You are indebted to me for no other than you're successful and I'm not.  This is the mentality she is criticizing.  

As for the the Rearden quote Hank has supported his brother for years.  Hank pays his brother's bills, gives him a living stipend, supports the brother's friends and has given him several jobs within Rearden Steel (Hank's company).  As the book progresses the brother takes up with people who want to punish Hank because he is successful and because he does better than others at something (he excels at making metal and in turn makes giant piles of money off of that skill).  Hank's brother, who has done nothing at all useful and has lived off of Hank's charity for years then joins those condemning Hank as "greedy" and evil (because he won't give away the secret of his greatest invention).  His brother joins with people who want to confiscate Hank's inventions "for the greater good".  Hank's brother believes Hank  cannot condemn him regardless of what he does because his brother is successful and rich and he is incompetent and useless.  Hank is simply saying that "I was good to you and you threw it in my face.  That ends now."  That's what he means by "exhausted your credit long ago".  Hank had good will and supported his brother, but the brother used it all up through his own actions and decisions.  

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July 29, 2013 10:20:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Jafo,


Quoting Sinperium, reply 6"Nobody can truly make you happy--or miserable--but yourself."

Hardly true.

If someone doubled my salary he would 'truly make me happy'.

Conversely.... if someone halved my salary it would 'truly make me miserable'.

No input at all from me ....

It's a hard concept for people to truly understand and embrace Sinperium...

 

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July 29, 2013 10:48:25 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting ZombiesRus5,
It's a hard concept for people to truly understand and embrace Sinperium...

Actually it's a cliched platitude....

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July 29, 2013 11:12:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Although there is the saying "make your own luck".  People who do this are more likely to get pay rises, because of what they do, who they work for and importantly their attitude.

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July 29, 2013 11:12:40 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Just because someone is successful, wealthy and what have you does in no way give them the right to expect you to be nice to them based on their success and or wealth. You want respect you must first give it. Don't and you know where you can go. End of story!

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July 29, 2013 11:13:43 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

is this post related to the "elemental materials" case?

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July 29, 2013 11:28:58 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting moshi,

is this post related to the "elemental materials" case?

No. It's a big wide world out there. 

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July 29, 2013 12:30:34 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
If someone doubled my salary he would 'truly make me happy'.
Conversely.... if someone halved my salary it would 'truly make me miserable'.

 

Money can't buy love or happiness.

True happiness comes from within. True happiness can't be given, bestowed, or otherwise precipitated from outside influence. This kind of happiness can be fleeting, temporary, and isn't true happiness.

 

I know of rich people who are very unhappy.

 

I used to work for a couple, cleaning their expensive cars, washing the windows in their expensive house.

A Dr. and an Atty. They were miserable. Marital problems, etc. All kinds of unhappiness.

 

They are now divorced. Money does not bring true happiness.

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July 29, 2013 12:33:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,

It's interesting that people are taking this to be a point about whether or not to be nice to others.  That's not what Rand is talking about at all (at least not in this part of the book).  She's talking about whether or not people have the right to expect YOU to be nice to THEM regardless of what THEY do to YOU.  You are more capable/successful/wealthy than I therefore I should be able to do anything I want to you and you should still be nice/charitable towards me.  Her point actually takes it further.  You are indebted to me for no other than you're successful and I'm not.  This is the mentality she is criticizing.  

As for the the Rearden quote Hank has supported his brother for years.  Hank pays his brother's bills, gives him a living stipend, supports the brother's friends and has given him several jobs within Rearden Steel (Hank's company).  As the book progresses the brother takes up with people who want to punish Hank because he is successful and because he does better than others at something (he excels at making metal and in turn makes giant piles of money off of that skill).  Hank's brother, who has done nothing at all useful and has lived off of Hank's charity for years then joins those condemning Hank as "greedy" and evil (because he won't give away the secret of his greatest invention).  His brother joins with people who want to confiscate Hank's inventions "for the greater good".  Hank's brother believes Hank  cannot condemn him regardless of what he does because his brother is successful and rich and he is incompetent and useless.  Hank is simply saying that "I was good to you and you threw it in my face.  That ends now."  That's what he means by "exhausted your credit long ago".  Hank had good will and supported his brother, but the brother used it all up through his own actions and decisions.  

Thanks Kantok!  I had no idea what Brad was trying to say in his OP.

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July 29, 2013 12:46:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I am a generally happy person. My wife, is not.

 

I used to think I could "make" her happy. No. She will have to find happiness for herself, as I did. Took me years to learn that.

 

I found my happiness by spending 3 years as a homeless, low life, bottom dweller. Then coming back from that through venues I won't speak of for fear of making this a religious reply.

I came back, my wife (former) did not. You all know where I am now. The former wife? In prison for murder 2.

 

I truly believe that happiness is a choice we make.

As a child, I was afraid of my abusive father. A man who had raped a few of my siblings. As a child, I was sexually molested by my older brother. Until I was old enough to stop him. I could go on....

 

All this led me to choose to be unhappy, to drink and drug my way through life in an attempt to either find happiness, or cover the unhappiness. Happiness eluded me.

Then, I met wife 2. Had two kids by her. Had them taken from me due to her past, then caught her in bed with my "best friend". But, as stupid as it was, I stayed with her.

 

But I let her take me to the point where I no longer cared, about anything. My spirit was broken. I literally ceased to care.....barely existing.

3 years of that and I somehow found my way back, because from the bottom, all there is is up.

After some counseling, and a few weeks in a mental hospital, I fought my way back. Created a relationship with my two sons, remarried to a wonderful woman, who can't seem to find true happiness.

 

I choose to be happy. I won't go back to the "dark side".

 

My father in law says that one of the best things about me is that no matter what is going on around me, I find a way to enjoy my day. (Be Happy)

 

In my world, happiness is a choice I make. YMMV.

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July 29, 2013 1:20:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Uvah,

Just because someone is successful, wealthy and what have you does in no way give them the right to expect you to be nice to them based on their success and or wealth. You want respect you must first give it. Don't and you know where you can go. End of story!

You have this exactly backwards.  Rand was talking about those who are "Takers", those who do not contribute to society but live via handouts and welfare, insisting that THEY get respect NOT MATTER HOW THEY ACT.  In the story those who are productive members of society, be it "great men" like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or simply those who work day in and day out and take pride in doing a good job (a train engineer, a mechanic, etc) are increasingly NOT respected.  They are expected to continue to produce and be taxed by those who do not do anything productive.  Those who do not even attempt to support themselves (like Rearden's brother) want to be financially supported by those who are productive while also being able to demonize the producers.  You are successful and good at what you do, therefore you are greedy and selfish and evil, but despite the fact that I call you greedy and selfish and evil and that I try to steal your inventions without compensating you I expect you to go pay my bills for me so I can continue to sit around and talk about how evil you are rather than working.   

The story is about the takers getting bolder and bolder until they essentially expect the productive members of society to work for nothing but to go on being productive members of society and carrying (supporting) those who do not want to work.  That's where the famous quote by John Galt (one of the books main characters) about the men of the mind going on strike comes from.  In the story the heroes are inventors, engineers, great artists, scientists, etc.  They go on strike and tell society that they refuse to support it anymore without getting respect in return.  

The idea is that the takers, those who live by charity, demand respect from those who support them despite the fact that the takers do nothing but demonize and steal from the ones supporting them, not that the rich demand respect because they are rich. 

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July 29, 2013 1:21:18 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting Kantok,

It's interesting that people are taking this to be a point about whether or not to be nice to others.  That's not what Rand is talking about at all (at least not in this part of the book).  She's talking about whether or not people have the right to expect YOU to be nice to THEM regardless of what THEY do to YOU.  You are more capable/successful/wealthy than I therefore I should be able to do anything I want to you and you should still be nice/charitable towards me.  Her point actually takes it further.  You are indebted to me for no other than you're successful and I'm not.  This is the mentality she is criticizing.  
 

I wouldn't read too much into a single sentence regarding "niceness".

The phenomenon I've seen during the rise of social media is the belief that if you have power over someone, you have a duty to take criticism and abuse from them without responding in kind because of the disproportionate positions each hold with respect to the other.

The most common, visible example I see online is the way users will talk to a forum moderator. You don't have to be some sort of successful business person to witness this kind of attitude.

To quote your response which nails it:

She's talking about whether or not people have the right to expect YOU to be nice to THEM regardless of what THEY do to YOU.  You are more capable/successful/wealthy than I therefore I should be able to do anything I want to you and you should still be nice/charitable towards me.  Her point actually takes it further.  You are indebted to me for no other than you're successful and I'm not.  This is the mentality she is criticizing.  

I have had many debates with people on this topic and it has become very clear to me (and it took awhile because I just couldn't bring myself to believe that they actually felt this way) that their philosophy is that the successful owe the less successful something simply by virtue of being successful. 

There is a real divide in our society now based on this. This was really highlighted in the Phil Fish drama of this weekend where people, even journalists, felt free to personally attack him in the most vile ways but if he responded in return, well then, that was somehow crossing a line. Because, after all, Phil Fish is a famous, successful person and the people attacking him were disproportionately less so. 

It is now considered unfair, when arguing some point, to remind people that they are more accomplished than they are. It's "bad form". Or it's "punching down". 

A good example of that mindset is people who will use social media to try to harm my livelihood but will cry foul if I observe that they work for a company that we are a customer of and respond by telling him that we will be thinking twice before buying stuff from his employer.

To quote Rearden:

"Perhaps I owe you an explanation, if I have misled you. I've tried never to remind you that you're living on my charity. I thought it was your place to remember it."

This quote can be applied far beyond charity. It can be applied to any scenario where the person doing the "spitting" seems to have forgotten that there is a disproportionate relationship between them. That applies whether we're talking about some foolish college student "indie developer" complaining to a co-founder of Epic online to some troll on a forum believing he can mouth off to a moderator with impunity by virtue that the moderator has the power to ban them.

So someone telling Phil Fish how he *should* behave or what he *should* do is likely rankling to someone like him because he feels like he has to keep the kid gloves on with these people. Because after all, who the hell are these people to tell him what to do? That frustration builds.

 

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July 29, 2013 1:45:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rich people sure love Ayn Rand

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July 29, 2013 1:47:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

I have had many debates with people on this topic and it has become very clear to me (and it took awhile because I just couldn't bring myself to believe that they actually felt this way) that their philosophy is that the successful owe the less successful something simply by virtue of being successful. 

There is a real divide in our society now based on this. 
 

I think this idea is probably THE central divide in our society now.  It's not always in the headline, but it seems like every major political controversy or disagreement has this issue bubbling beneath the surface.  Without trying to get too political, I think the last half decade has seen a surprising upsurge of incidents where this divide is clearly evident.  I can't count the number of times my wife and I have been discussing some current event over dinner and remarked how the event seemed like it was pulled from the pages of Atlas Shrugged.  

I took me a long time after reading this book (many years ago) to really consider that Rand might have been right about some things.  I'm certainly no objectivist, but I think she understood human nature and how human nature would affect the course of industrialization better than she's given credit for.  

Quoting Frogboy,

It is now considered unfair, when arguing some point, to remind people that they are more accomplished than they are. It's "bad form". Or it's "punching down". 

Telling someone they are wrong about something, even technical (non-subjective) matters gets much the same reaction.  All perspectives must be considered, regardless of their merit.  

Quoting Frogboy,

"Perhaps I owe you an explanation, if I have misled you. I've tried never to remind you that you're living on my charity. I thought it was your place to remember it."

One of the best lines in the book.  It's something that I feel like our society is losing; that appreciation towards those who are the ones being charitable.  

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July 29, 2013 3:39:33 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

While I don't disagree with the overall sentiment of this thread I think that how an individual processes thoughts/emotions etc. is inextricably linked to one's current status in life.

It is easy for the non-addict to forget that the addict's mind doesn't make connections and process thought like that of a non-addict.

It is easy to forget how the pressures of day-to-day living can suppress the ability for calmer rationale when viewed from a more comfortable place.

It is easy to feel attacked by those of a different position and not so easy to remember where they might be coming from.

 

I am not saying that a 'culture of entitlement' doesn't exist.  It most certainly does.  But I think it does in all walks and on all levels of life.  I think it does everyone a lot of good (in all dealings with people on a daily basis) to try harder to empathize than to criticize.  Of course that is infinitely harder to achieve in practice......and so the world turns.

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July 29, 2013 6:09:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

Rich people sure love Ayn Rand

I don't know about "love". I don't think her philosophy "objectivism" is any more realistic than any other utopian ideology.

But I will say this - if you want to be successful (however you define it) then it probably isn't a bad idea to look at the habits and philosophies of people who are successful, particular if they started out with very little.

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