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“Do Gooders Bad” Sub-Page
Last Updated 12 May 2022
By the High SQRLSy Priest / Priestess (AKA The SQRLSy One)
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“Do Gooder Derogation” and “Relax! Just Because I am Right and You are Wrong, Doesn’t Mean that I Want to Steal ‘Your’ Woman”
In political discussions (especially on-line, in chat rooms and comments boards), many of us are familiar with “echo chambers” and “confirmation bias”. Also “projection” (if I am a jerk and act out of totally short-sighted self-interest, then I will assume that others are just like me). And many of us are tribalistic, nationalistic, ethnic-group, religious, or political-party chauvinists… My tribe good, yours bad! My violence good, yours bad! These things are fairly familiar to many of us.
What is NOT as well known, is “Do Gooder Derogation”, AKA “Antisocial Punishment”. It is counter-intuitive! Here, I’ll try to make it short: From https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201016-why-some-people-are-cruel-to-others ... An out-take from there is as follows: “This phenomenon is called “do-gooder derogation”. It can be found around the world. In hunter-gatherer societies, successful hunters are criticised for catching a big animal (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797617752642 ) even though their catch means everyone gets more meat. ”
End out-take. To me, sociobiology is often intuitive. At first glance, the hunter-gatherer tendency (instinctually driven?) to immediately “take down a peg or two” the hunter-hero who just bagged a good kill of “red meat” to help feed me? This is counter-intuitive! But take a deeper, more thoughtful look at it: If we make a BIG hero out of the hunter-hero, he might steal all of our women, and make all of our babies! So the tribal shaman will remind the hunter-hero, and the tribe, that it is the shaman that knows how to beat the drums just exactly the right way, who drives away the sun-god-eating (eclipse) demons, and make the demons un-eat the sun-god! And the tribal artist will remind everyone that it is he (maybe even sometimes she) who knows the right way to carve the mammoth tusk, to make a magical fertility icon-figurine, and keep the tribe fertile. We are ALL heroes around here, and NOT just the hunter-hero! So the hunter-hero needs to be reminded of that, so that he’ll not steal ALL of our women!
The knuckle-dragging troglodytes among us, on the internet, even when we know darned well that most of the commenters are anonymous, go into an instinctually-driven mode of “punish the people who are wise, benevolent, and correct”, and make them look bad! Else they might steal my wife or girlfriend, and make my babies”! It is knee-jerk stupidity, on a largely-anonymous chat board, but there it is!
I am a libertarian. I will justify that further below. I believe that right now, every government on the planet (OK, maybe not Somalia, but let’s set aside that argument for now; it’s too big of a diversion) is too large, and personal liberty is too small. More on that further below. But, humans affairs are complicated, and sometimes it might make SOME sense for government to do MORE, in some category, to help the poor (see, liberals, I don’t mean to slam you all day every day). And sometimes maybe government should do MORE to make us more law-abiding and “virtuous” (see, I don’t hate all conservatives either). WHATEVER YOUR POLITICAL PERSUASION IS, keep in mind that your low-brow “enemies” may sometimes fight you and call you bad names… Because you’re right, and they’re wrong! Because you made some valid points, and brought home some “red meat” for the tribe, and so, they feel that you must be punished, for being right! So, don’t forget to remind them that you are NOT trying to steal all of the women, and make all of the babies, when they act that way!
Well, I hope that that’s a good, SHORT summary. It’s where I plan to go, below.
Foot-note-ish note here, hoping not to make the “short” intro too long… My imported link further above appears to be almost broken, or very unwieldy. By Aleta Pleasant and Pat Barclay.
First Published https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797617752642 … So here is a copy of the abstract:
When choosing social partners, people prefer good cooperators (all else being equal). Given this preference, people wishing to be chosen can either increase their own cooperation to become more desirable or suppress others’ cooperation to make them less desirable. Previous research shows that very cooperative people sometimes get punished (“antisocial punishment”) or criticized (“do-gooder derogation”) in many cultures. Here, we used a public-goods game with punishment to test whether antisocial punishment is used as a means of competing to be chosen by suppressing others’ cooperation. As predicted, there was more antisocial punishment when participants were competing to be chosen for a subsequent cooperative task (a trust game) than without a subsequent task. This difference in antisocial punishment cannot be explained by differences in contributions, moralistic punishment, or confusion. This suggests that antisocial punishment is a social strategy that low cooperators use to avoid looking bad when high cooperators escalate cooperation.
Please excuse my bass-ackwards order here, but I want to quickly send readers to well-documented sources right away, for anyone who doubts that I’m serious, and well-justified, in what I say below. So, sources and links up front!
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-love-and-war/201706/why-some-people-resent-do-gooders is an excellent place to start! A VERY good high-level summary! Follow links from there for more details. That’s where I got some of my links that I’ll refer to below.
See “Antisocial Punishment Across Societies”, https://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5868/1362 ... Don’t you go making me look bad, by being a better person than I am! This is why Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., got themselves killed! This is an academic link here, and some of the other links (below) refer to it in turn.
The first link to the academic literature that I became aware of, came from the book, “BEHAVE The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst”, by Robert M. Sapolsky. Centered around pages 496-497 (in the soft-cover version 2018 at least), there’s some interesting and relevant details about human behavior. Much of it is from experimental “economics games” with humans (further distantly, even capuchin monkeys show some of the basics, behavior-wise, here as well). https://www.amazon.com/Behave-Biology-Humans-Best-Worst/dp/0143110918/ref=asc_df_0143110918/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312064598816&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13654540330964297268&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027644&hvtargid=pla-469024892366&psc=1
The same “anti-social punishment” (AKA do-gooder derogation) thing is referred to here… https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201016-why-some-people-are-cruel-to-others … This is another excellent summary, with many embedded links to the academic literature.
The over-arching rubric includes “my tribe good, your tribe bad”, or, in more detail, “my tribe’s violence good, your tribe’s violence bad”, and it is, sad to say, apparently programmed into our brains, by evolution. “My tribe bad, your tribe good” got you kicked out of your tribe VERY quickly, so those genes often got eliminated! (Sloppy way of saying it, I know, but there it is).
What else fits in here
is summarized in the following links: https://www.salon.com/2021/08/08/a-terrifying-new-theory-fake-news-and-conspiracy-theories-as-an-evolutionary-strategy/
A terrifying new theory: Fake news and conspiracy theories as an evolutionary strategy.
Social scientist Michael Bang Petersen on why people believe outrageous lies — as a tool in violent group conflict.
And another take on the same thing…
More comments on these immediately-above things at the bottom (last section) of http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/. I don’t want this “sources” section to get too long.
Popular culture, “old sayings”, and history contain the same lessons. “No good deed goes unpunished.” Also “nice guys finish last”. Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount: “The righteous will be persecuted”. https://bible.org/seriespage/8-blessed-are-persecuted-matthew-510-12 ... There’s plenty more on that out there! The Google knows all!
And let’s not forget “Courage the Cowardly Dog”! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courage_the_Cowardly_Dog Out-take from there, “…a grumpy, selfish and greedy farmer who regularly mistreats Courage out of jealousy and refers to him as "stupid dog". “Stupid dog, you make me look bad” (for doing the right thing) was a commonly repeated refrain!
Don’t tell the Emperor that He has no clothes! I am already a Perfect One! Me AND my tribe are Already Perfect! Any messengers bringing any news to the contrary? Let’s shoot and kill the messengers! This is a sad, sad, and VERY old tale… Jesus telling the hypocrites that they always kill the prophets… From http://web.mit.edu/jywang/www/cef/Bible/NIV/NIV_Bible/MATT+23.html Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
See just HOW old and sad it is?
In conclusion, “nice guys finish last”, in view of human history and the deaths of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., the better statement might be “nice guys get killed”! This is the more honest and complete version of the statement! Also this: The “do-gooder derogation” instinct (programmed emotion) could accurately be called the Jesus-killer ( Mahatma Gandhi-killer, Martin Luther King Jr.-killer, etc.) instinct.
Our sociobiologal roots (and our cultures) have accumulated a lot of wisdom. Are we wrong to fear that the hunter-hero (or the rich person, the sports or movies super-hero, or the wise, benevolent, and correct) person might steal all of our women? No! Think JFK, Tiger Woods, Donald Trump sleeping with a porn star, Bill Clinton, and many, many more. Think of Genghis Khan and his 972 offspring. Did y’all know that about 1 in 10 men in certain areas of Asia, have the “Y” chromosome of Genghis Khan? And 1 in 200 planet-wide? Use this search-string in quotes: “1 in 200 men direct descendants of Genghis Khan”, or, https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/1-in-200-men-direct-descendants-of-genghis-khan ... Monopolies (or near-monopolies) on the harems of women leads to constant fighting, elephant-seal-style. Let’s all fight over our harems! Every reproducing male will know all about how to grab the women, and no one will know how to be a good father any more! It’s not the direction towards which I’d like to see humans evolve towards, biologically, culturally, or otherwise.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_boys_(Mormon_fundamentalism) and especially https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/14/usa.julianborger , concerning fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons discarding their young men, are good links to explore, to illustrate my just-above-made point.
Examples (of monopolizing the women) abound. David Koresh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Koresh and Mormon fundamentalists and “blood atonement” and Ervil LeBaron and his harem, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ervil_LeBaron. I’m sure that we could find more.
Sad to say, even some of our moral-ethical heroes had “feet of clay” here as well. Martin Luther King Junior? Yes, apparently! See https://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-tapes-allege-mlk-watched-rape-2019-5 for example... I may or may not have picked a very good link here. There’s more out there… And M. Scott Peck is a personal hero of mine. He wrote that shrinks sleeping with their patients was a bad idea… Yet apparently he was a hypocrite! https://www.amazon.com/Road-Travelled-Revealing-Biography-Scott/dp/1844135764 and https://couchtrip.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/the-road-less-travelled/ and maybe more good links (this is at a quick Google-glance; I have read more about this, and may not have the best links here). OK, one more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/oct/05/guardianobituaries.booksobituaries “Pop psychiatrist who ignored his bestselling advice on adultery”.
OK, just ONE more, then! https://buffalonews.com/lifestyles/biography-going-beneath-the-veneer-of-m-scott-peck/article_21705172-664a-5365-8e8a-cea293ce3bf4.html ... This latter one is the best for a short summary, I think. IF YOU ARE A MORAL-ETHICAL LEADER, PLEASE TRY TO ACT LIKE ONE!!!
So the hunter-gatherers were partly correct in fearing the “do gooders” and other heroes. Don’t forget Jesus and his warnings about “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. As soon as anyone (or a category of people) is put up on the pedestal… Politicians, Boy Scout leaders, military officers, poets, teachers, religious leaders (think Catholic priests), best-selling self-help authors… Whatever category of people is “in vogue” and-or powerful… As soon as such a group is well-thought-of, people WILL join that group, for the WRONG (self-seeking) reasons!
OK, a few more. https://lancasteronline.com/news/sick-tales-of-torture-and-brutality/article_2a7b727e-9d82-5aae-930c-1e0a5dcf9839.html
Sick tales of torture and brutality
John M. Spidaliere May 30, 2003 Updated Sep 11, 2013
“Before the war, the ministry was run by Uday Hussein, the eldest son of Saddam Hussein, who used his position to support his decadent lifestyle and satisfy his lust for violence and sex.”
“Uday had a cruel reputation for crashing weddings and either stealing the bride or any guest that intrigued him to rape and in some cases murder them, Eberly said.”
As to deviancy, among the sundry depravities attributed to Caligula, sex with his sisters was just a start – as contemporaries put it: “He lived in habitual incest with all his sisters, and at a large banquet he placed each of them in turn below him, while his wife reclined above“. At dinner parties, he was in the habit of ordering the wives of guests to accompany him to his bedroom, and after having sex with them, would return to the party and rate their performance, berating the cuckolded husbands if their wives had been lacking.
So then “prima nocta” is disputed… Was it real, or not real? Historians disagree. https://www.dictionary.com/e/historical-current-events/prima-nocta/ … From the above (Caligula etc.), we might suspect that it happened from time to time! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_du_seigneur …
Now also https://historydaily.org/remember-youre-mortal ... “In Ancient Rome, a Slave Would Whisper 'Remember You're Mortal' in the Ears of Victorious Generals On Their Homecoming Parade”… Now THAT was a GOOD result of ancient hunter-gatherer wisdom! Go ahead and DO take down a peg or two, those who might otherwise steal all of your women! Impeach Bill Clinton and Der TrumpfenFuhrer now and then!
At the logical extreme, the people who are better (wiser, more benevolent) than we are? We KILL them for it! Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., got themselves killed for that! All of them were killed for calling us on (challenging us for) “my tribe good, yours bad”, and “my violence good, your violence bad”. So… Let’s KILL those who make us look bad! By being better humans than we are! That’s WRONG! Period!
From way back when, to this day, chimps (and ape-men) have warred on each other over territory, and so have our fully-human ancestors. Times get rough, food and territory gets scarce, so we killed each other. That was OK in hunter-gatherer days, at least so far as it goes, in that it didn’t endanger the survival of the human race. WE HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS NOW!!! We must CUT this crap OUT! Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, were RIGHT about this, and the ultra-nationalists and ultra-tribalists are WRONG! We humans are ALL humans, and need to respect each other as such! Full stop! (Even scapegoated so-called illegal sub-humans from the wrong sides of the lines in the sand, are humans also; please try to keep that in mind).
“The Jews killed Jesus” say those of shallow understanding. A BETTER, more detailed understanding would be, “First we grew fish brains, and the instincts and emotions than went with them. Then ditto lizard brains, then monkeys, then apes, and human hunter-gatherer brains, instincts, and emotions. As culture-bearing, supposedly fully thinking beings, by now we should have made that post-hunter-gatherer mental, ethical, and moral leap. Jesus (and etc.) was (were) killed by those who couldn’t or wouldn’t make that final leap.”
The ethically advanced ones among us know that always immediately (in “standard operating mode”) taking away the other guy’s dignity doesn’t add to our dignity. The search for dignity is NOT generally a zero-sum game! Yet balanced against that, we do no one any favors when we refuse to criticize people who are wrong! Jesus called them vipers and sons of vipers! See https://biblehub.com/matthew/23-33.htm and see https://tricycle.org/magazine/arent-we-right-be-angry/ , but enough on those digressions for now.
From https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201016-why-some-people-are-cruel-to-others : “Yet there is a hidden upside of do-gooder derogation. Once we have pulled down the do-gooder, we are more open to their message. ” End quote. (Last link there = https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1948550611415695 and it is a clunky link, but enough said). It’s not a HUGE amount of good news, but at least SOME good news. AFTER we have killed Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and they are DEAD men, and can NOT possibly steal our women any more, THEN we are free to FINALLY listen safely to their messages!
Well anyway, modern-day hunter-gatherers, find the limits to your anger! Don’t use those nukes! If despotism takes over the world tomorrow, then future generations can always re-discover or re-invent freedom! But NOT if we’re all dead! (“Better red than dead.”)
Further on down, I plan to show that libertarian (“live-and-let-live”) thinking and politics is better than authoritarian, bossy, micro-managing thinking, of whatever (left, right, middle, populist, elite-rich, anti-one-percenter, pro-proletariat, etc.) stripe your authoritarian thinking might be. Depending on who you are (Dear Reader), that might step on your toes. So first, let me demonstrate that I am NOT an intolerant rube, or a narrow-minded bigot! Hence the below…
Let’s start with the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, ‘The State must follow, and not lead, the character and progress of the citizen.’
Here is the full-blown quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
‘Republics abound in young civilians who believe that the laws make the city, that grave modifications of the policy and modes of living and employments of the population, that commerce, education and religion may be voted in or out; and that any measure, though it were absurd, may be imposed on a people if only you can get sufficient voices to make it a law. But the wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand which perishes in the twisting; that the State must follow and not lead the character and progress of the citizen; that the form of government which prevails is the expression of what cultivation exists in the population which permits it. The law is only a memorandum.’
Another relevant Emerson quote:
“All men plume themselves on the improvement of society, and no man improves.”
So anyway, suppose that Government Almighty goes too far, and mandates no-meat diets, which many people disagree with, just like the War on Drugs today…
Then there will be underground, makeshift, amateurish animal-killing-and-butchering shops, where the animals will be treated far less humanely than they are today! (Thank You shallow-understanding would-be Do-Gooders!!!)
You will not be able to let Fluffy or Fido wander through the bushes in your own back yard, for fear of meat-hungry lawbreaking pet-snatchers! (But, Meat-Hungry Lawbreaking Pet-Snatchers would make a MOST EXCELLENT name for a garage band!)
In case anyone doesn’t understand what we are saying here… “We” being me & the Ralph Waldo Emerson in my pocket…
If I passed a law saying that one may no longer burn witches for killing our calves and babies, and making our crops fail, just because they are witches using witchcraft… People would laugh at me. We got over witch-burning a LONG time ago, so those laws aren’t needed any more! We’ve gotten over totally overt anti-black-people bias, to the point where we might start ditching those laws as well. (MAYBE). In their place, enforce “truth in adverting” laws… Do NOT put up a sign in your shop, saying “all races welcome here”, and then act to the contrary to your sign! For lack of a non-discrimination sign, and for bad behavior, MOST people today, would punish such a shop, enough! Boycotts work!
More tolerance for gays is newer than more tolerance for blacks (I think, generally). Give it time… In due time, cake-baking laws will be as un-needed as witch-protection laws are today! Ralph Waldo Emerson was right! Let the state follow the progress of the citizens, and not vice versa! Vice versa causes WAAAY too much fighting, and WAAAY too much stupid!
Slight sub-topic change; too much fighting is way too stupid, and we need BALANCE! Consider the below:
For all ideological hard-core warmongers everywhere…
So ye lust after the utter, eternal destruction of the “D” team, and the eternal victory of the “R” team? (The inverse kind of ideological idiot exists also, but not so much, on these pages = specifically where I sometimes comment, at https://reason.com/latest/ ).
“R” team likes to demonize “D” team? Biden is going to outlaw the internal combustion engine, tomorrow, to “Make American Green Again”? The NEW MAGA? Bullshit, demonizers!
“D” team likes to say that the next “R” POTUS (Alex Jones maybe?) will outlaw ALL abortion, and birth control? And turn ALL women into enslaved baby-making machines, because every sperm is sacred? Bullshit, demonizers!
All is for The Hive… The Tribe-Nation… Or, All is for the Individual, and you may NOT (of your own supposed “free will”) join a VOLUNTARY commune?! There can be NO compromise, traitors!!!
The males must UTTERLY DEFEAT the females, who must NEVER speak again!
Yin must smash Yang, till Yang exists no more!
Creation must smash destruction! NO eggs may be broken, for making omelets!
Life must rule over death, and NO ONE may die, to make room for the new living! No matter HOW old and decrepit they get! YOU MAY NOT DIE!!!
Do you ideological idiots NOT see that “R” v/s “D” falls into the same category? You would destroy it ALL (multi-party democracy, “balance”) in the name of your POWER PIG FANTASIES!!!
The ONLY way that ye will get your “ultimate victory” is in the DEATH OF IT ALL!!! The new POTUS, Alex Jones, will declare Nuclear War for the Ultimate Victory… And yin and yang, male and female, “D” and “R”, individual v/s tribe… they all ARE NO MORE!!!
Are you HAPPY now, ideological idiots and power-lusters?!!?
(Sorry if that was “in your face”, but I hope that my point has been made).
One last stab (or two) at this and then I’ll probably be ready to move on…
Early 20th century clergyman Harry Emerson Fosdick showed himself to be a man of wisdom and benevolence (and tolerance and humility as well). http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5070/ and https://peaceloveshenanigans.tumblr.com/post/3419714173/there-are-many-opinions-in-the-field-of-modern. Here, look at this, of his: “There are many opinions in the field of modern controversy concerning which I am not sure whether they are right or wrong, but there is one thing I am sure of: courtesy and kindliness and tolerance and humility and fairness are right. Opinions may be mistaken; love never is.”
And this one here from Martin Luther King Jr. is MOST excellent! https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/martin_luther_king_jr_101472 for the shortened version:
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies– or else? The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
Humility is a MUCH underappreciated virtue! See this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html Even in a supposedly “proud” profession, wise leaders treasure humility!
Books that I recommend: Peter McWilliams “Ain’t Nobody’s Business…” https://www.amazon.com/Aint-Nobodys-Business-You-Consensual/dp/192976717X , written by a gay man. It’s a secular book, but has a LOT of content about religious influences on USA history and culture. Funny and erudite, with LOTS of good quotes from many-many sources! EXCELLENT book!
Jonathan Haidt, “The Righteous Mind”, https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Mind-Divided-Politics-Religion/dp/0307455777 . Haidt self-IDs openly as a liberal atheist, but (in a data-driven, tolerant, even-handed, and broad-minded manner) examines different (liberal v/s conservative) ways of thinking. He clearly advocates open, tolerant, and civil discussions about everything. We CAN discuss things, and NOT yell at each other, and-or past each other! It IS possible!
Less-so a “benevolent wise person” book and more-so a “general knowledge” book is this; “The Evolution of Everything”, Matt Ridley, https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Everything-How-Ideas-Emerge/dp/0062296000/ref=asc_df_0062296000/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312741934517&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1463665821932812954&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027638&hvtargid=pla-432981011169&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=64940825031&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312741934517&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1463665821932812954&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027638&hvtargid=pla-432981011169
Well, I hope that I’ve established my “bona fides” as being at least a wee tad tolerant and broad-minded. Now let me move on, to show why libertarian thinking is superior to authoritarianism. Is this clear? I hope so! I am not opposed to all “leftism” or all “rightism”; I am only opposed to such things, when they are extremist and-or authoritarian!
Libertarianism (non-authoritarianism) is a straight-forward derivative of the “Golden Rule”. You do NOT want others to assume that they are your moral superiors? You don’t want them to boss you around all day, every day? Then don’t do that to them! You want your freedom and dignity? Grant it to others as well!
When everything “good” is mandated, and everything “bad” is prohibited, there will be NO room left for human freedom, and human individual judgment!
Government Almighty force is (should be) reserved for uses that protect us all against evil people! We can almost all (say, 80% or more) agree that murder, violence (real violence not verbal “violence”), rape, theft, theft-by-deception, and gross, blatant, and obvious environmental pollution (dumping of toxins) is bad. Let’s use force or the threat of force to protect our freedoms from these things. Beyond that, let’s tread very carefully!
Libertarianism should sensibly allow moderate regulation of common utilities like electrical power, gas lines, railroads, and roads. We don’t have the room for 12 competing railroads to lay down tracks side-by-side. Such “natural monopolies” need regulated. Tread carefully though! Look up (Google) “regulatory capture” and “concentrated benefits, diffuse costs” to see why!
We have WAY too many requirements for degrees, licenses, and credentials, obstructing honest and poor people who would like to earn a living! It also obstructs our freedoms, plain and simple! Can anyone defend this: In the USA, and in the USA alone, among ALL nations, I need to get a physician’s permission to blow on a cheap plastic “lung flute”?!? See http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ .
If we try to tread the sensible “middle way”, we might also need to think about “market failure”. If Bill Gates or Elon Musk (or other rich person) shells out $50 billion to save some (?) 7.8 billion people on the planet Earth from the next YUUUUGE asteroid, how does (say) Bill Gates collect $6.41 (plus profit) from everyone on the planet? That’s a tough row to hoe! Sounds like Government Almighty getting involved here might make SOME sense! Other than a few special cases though, let’s not be “The Boy that Cried Wolf”, and willy-nilly yell “market failure” at the drop of a hat! It gets old quickly!
If you need more understanding of (or justification for, or want to send your hard-earned money to) libertarian causes, follow https://reason.com/latest/ and-or https://www.cato.org/ and-or https://ij.org/ .
Persuasion, not coercion! That is VERY classical libertarian thought! As soon as your coercion (guns, billy-clubs, jails) is removed, people go back to what they were doing before. PERSUADE them instead, and they might actually STAY persuaded!
Well I guess it wasn’t that horribly long! This space is reserved for more Deep Thoughts later, just maybe… Enough for now!
Combining libertarianism and “no good deed goes unpunished” together, what do we get? Well, throw in ONE more idea to spice it up, and let’s go! Add “social capital”, or, lack of public corruption, or, our ability to trust each other, and our public institutions. THEN what do we get?
Human societies with greater income differentials have less “social capital”, and people tend to trust one another (as strangers) significantly less. This is not good for “free market” operations to run smoothly! So within wise (judicious) limits, policies in favor of more-equal income distribution make sense, and many reasonable people (and voters) can see this. https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/media-culture/social-capital-and-the-free-market at a casual search, was short and good… There’s plenty more out there!
I’m a free-market libertarian, sure, but I am also a “poly-centrist”… We do NOT just need ONE political party; we need more than one! And we need “power” (soft power at least) shared with comedians and churches and mosques and temples and poets, priests, and artists, as well as politicians! In a dictatorship, the dictator typically tries VERY hard to shut down ALL other voices! The comedians may NOT make jokes about the dictator! That’s not what I want… So, unlike the shrill voices of the authoritarian conservatives on comment boards, I am glad that leftist-type people show up as well. I do NOT think that raw, naked income redistribution by Government Almighty is a good “fix”… But excessive income inequality is NOT a good thing, either! So leftists have a part of the truth… Me, personally, I would start by cutting the hell out of licensing and regulations that keep poor people from being able to earn an honest living! If you don’t want to hire an unlicensed interior decorator, then don’t! But don’t get in my way when I want to hire one!
There are some more counterintuitive aspects of human behavior that are also relevant. Economic-behavior science calls it “antisocial punishment”… AKA, “no good deed goes unpunished”. If you are TOO charitable, and TOO public-minded, TOO altruistic and benevolent, then others around you can and will punish you for making them look bad! The above-described phenomenon (and even more so, the lack of “social capital” and trust, due to public corruption) is measured as being not super-powerful in the USA, Australia, and Nordic nations, for examples, compared to more-corrupt nations. “Social capital” (we trust each other) is still prevalent, and so we don’t get all hell-bent on punishing the good guys.
Certain societies have gotten themselves sucked into a spiral vortex… Income inequality skyrockets (the rich screw the poor with licensing schemes, among other things), and the poor shoot back, by putting commies in power. Then the Government Almighty power pigs (think of special stores in the USSR for Commie Party members only) abuse the poor some more! It turns out that we are all equal, but some are more equal than others! And then, the poor (who can plainly see that Government Almighty power pigs are screwing them) get even more pissed off (“social capital” deteriorates some more), and WHO do they turn to, to punish the “bad guys”? … Yup, some MORE Government Almighty power pigs (the RIGHT ones this time!), who will FIX it for them!
Government Almighty power pigs collude with big-business interests to screw over HONEST business that would compete with them! Expecting Government Almighty to be the “fix” for this is a losing game! Asking Government Almighty power pigs to punish other power pigs (who send bribes, ooops, I mean, campaign contributions to our Lords and Masters) to fix it for us, doesn’t work!
The GENUINE good guys, like REAL libertarians? They, too, must be PUNISHED! How DARE they question the Gospel of Government Almighty!?! How DARE they question the benevolence of those who help the poor… By using the guns and jails of Government Almighty, to make MY charity choices FOR me? “Here, let me help you; I will rob the stranger next door to help you out!” “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” doesn’t work well in the long run! THIS is the kind of power-seeking “do gooder” that gives do-gooding a bad name!
The same “anti-social punishment” thing is referred to here……. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201016-why-some-people-are-cruel-to-others out-take from there is
Sometimes people will even harm the helpful. Imagine you are playing an economic game in which you and other players have the chance to invest in a group fund. The more money is paid into it, the more it pays out. And the fund will pay out money to all players, whether they have invested or not.
At the end of the game, you can pay to punish other players for how much they chose to invest. To do so, you give up some of your earnings and money is taken away from the player of your choice. In short, you can be spiteful.
Some players chose to punish others who invested little or nothing in the group fund. Yet some will pay to punish players who invested more in the group fund than they did. Such acts seem to make no sense. Generous players give you a greater pay-out – why would you dissuade them?
End out-take. Answer to the ending question above is “because they make you look bad”. If I look bad, I might have to behave better, and don’t want to! Also, you might steal all of “my” women!
From the conclusion to the above…
These findings suggest that we don’t need to downplay personal triumphs to avoid negative social consequences, as long as we make it clear that we don’t look down on others as a result.
End out-take. Good advice! I’ll take it!
So, just because you (authoritarian jerk if you are one) are nasty, does NOT mean that I want you to feel BAD about YOU being a jerk, and me NOT being one! PLEASE feel GOOD about you being a jerk! And I do NOT want to steal “your” woman! You do NOT need to push me (or other REAL lovers of personal liberty) down, so that you can feel better about being a jerk! EVERYONE ADORES you for being that jerk that you are, because, well, because you are YOU! FEEL that self-esteem, now!
Bear with me for a few minutes and this section-heading will make more sense.
Sometimes we have several ways of putting things (even though the thing described remains the same). Take some important flavors of hedonism, for example: “Wine, women, and song”. Old-time, cultured, almost poetic. “Sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll.” In your face, but humorous to think it is basically the same as the first. “Beer, the Old Lady, and TV.” Again humorous, low-brow, with a twinge of boredom-humor.
OK, different topic, but again, same thing described in different ways: Old-time high-brow: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “All men plume themselves on the improvement of society, and no man improves.” Modern humorous and ALMOST in-your-face: PJ O’Rourke, “Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” Short generic: “Work is love made visible”. Longer version by Khalil Gibran, “Work is love made visible. And if you can't work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”.
Old-old-OLD-time religious: “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.” Jesus, Matthew 20
SQRLSY One comments: I shoe-horned this in here into this web page, because I started out writing about the rampant poo-flinging (about politics) on the internet (forums, chat groups, etc.). This fits right in! And some things never change!
All the wind-bag self-righteous power pigs imagine themselves passing the perfect laws (and school-teaching rules for another example) in THEIR Holy Images, and all would be perfect! Meanwhile, no one (hardly anyone at least sometimes) is “helping Mom with the dishes”… CRT (“Critical Race Theory”) is a popular culture-politics fighting topic right now (early summer 2021). In this case, working peacefully with, and making friends with, people of other races (religions, political parties, etc.), and teaching all children (whenever you get a chance, and usually by example) to love all of their fellow humans, the trees, the bunny rabbits, and the Earth, and the human future, yada-yada… This is BORING! Akin to washing dishes!
Well, STOP that self-righteous bickering! Let’s all get off our asses, stop being arrogant know-it-all windbags, and go do some dishes!
Read the Beatitude #8 heading at the bottom of http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ for more details about WHY the above section fits right in here… Tribalistic fighting over power (as compared to being the “servants” of one another in peaceful cooperation) is among the root causes of WHY the power pigs (“ethically challenged”) ones among us, resent the better ones among us, and sometimes even KILL the “prophets” (ethical teachers) of the modern-day era.
OK, another short set of notes added 12 May 2022… Please don’t think that the “ultimate” do-gooders who get killed for doing good, are (were, historically) the only ones punished for being righteous! Don’t just think of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. … Think also, even today, of those punished for assisting so-called “illegal aliens” (“illegal sub-humans” in the minds of their haters). I’ll just show some links and leave it at that… https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/25/world/europe/greece-migrants.html He Saved 31 People at Sea. Then Got a 142-Year Prison Sentence. Hanad Abdi Mohammad is the hero here, and law enforcement and their anti-immigrant hateful supporters are the villains. And it happens in the USA as well! https://reason.com/2019/01/15/trial-begins-for-aid-workers-accused-of/ Trial Begins for Aid Workers Accused of Leaving Food, Water in Desert for Migrants https://reason.com/2017/11/12/how-immigration-crackdowns-scr/ How Immigration Crackdowns Screw Up Americans' Lives
Again, bear with me to make sense of the above heading, please. And again, this fits into the cooperation-v/s-fighting theme among humans, as laid out in the Beatitude #8 heading at the bottom of http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ … PLEASE, let us all evolve (via cultural evolution mostly these days) into higher beings! With apologies to Scott Adams (of “Dilbert” fame), for me having cribbed a wee tad, let’s have at it!
A high-tech-related job (almost all jobs these days involve computers) can stimulate LOTS of diverse thoughts about LOTS of things, to include ethology (the study of human and animal behavioral mechanisms as biological adaptations) and anthropology and history (the next and higher levels of evolution in humans; AKA, “culture” and “civilization”). I’ve summarized my findings below; I hope that they are helpful. Sad to say, honest reporting precludes saying that “everything is coming up roses”. This is from the particularly bleak perspective of an employee of a workplace that deliberately fosters a dog-eat-dog work ethic, via constant layoffs, as driven by forced-bell-curve “metrics” of your rankings, as judged by clueless managers.
If you have the patience to sit still long enough, watch a prairie-dog town for a while. As a former farm-ranch-boy, I can tell you about such things! You may have to sit still for only minutes, or it might be hours or even days… The excitement comes in fits and starts; it’s “bursty”, in tech-speak. But sooner or later, you’ll see a prairie dog popping his head up out of one of those elevated holes… Perhaps even standing tall, on his hind feet… And making LOUD announcements! If you can understand prairie-dog, he is saying, “Watch out! Eagles and hawks, wolves and dogs, snakes and humans, oh my!” He’s scolding the predators, and warning all p-dogs, “beware”! He’s looking out for his fellow p-dogs… Often warning his biologically-genetically related p-dogs. An elementary step towards cooperative and then cultural, civilized behavior. … Similarly, in modern cube-lands, if you sit there for long enough (no need to sit very still here, actually; the actors here are LOOKING to attract your attention), you’ll see engineers popping their heads out over the tops of their cubes (maybe even standing on office chairs, and standing on their hind paws, hazardous though that may be), and announcing to all in cube-land, “Lo and behold, for all to see! Co-worker XYZ has just come to ME, the All-Knowing Mega-Uber-Wizard, for help, at the mere task of making provisions for dis-ambiguating the slack pointers, for protecting the multi-snore OSPQW, in the event of a defrabrullator-coherency meltdown!”. If you perform elementary anthropological investigations afterwards, you’ll find that worker XYZ was merely trying to save hours or days or weeks of his/her work, so he/she went to Super-Duper-Wizard (or other specialist at that narrow skill), since (Uber-VHDL-Wizard or other, fill in the blank) Whatever-Wizard does it all day every day, and XYZ does this particular thing once, only every few years. XYZ made the mistake of thinking that efficiently getting it done QUICKLY, for Cube-Land Inc., by using a primary attainment of human cultural civilization, AKA “job specialization/cooperation/teamwork”, was more important than appearing to know everything, and being smarter than your co-worker. So now, XYZ will lick his/her wounds, and learn to study the manuals for hours or days on end, next time this sort of thing happens, rather than approaching Uber-Wizard for some quick help. XYZ will dream of the day when Uber-Wizard comes to him or her, and the tables are turned, and XYZ can get up on that chair, popping out above ALL of the cubes in Cube-Land, to announce that Uber-Wizard doesn’t know how to re-calibrate the deflection parameters tables of ionizing radiation-gradients so as to optimize provisions for radiation hormesis. … The advantages of civilization have been negated here, because it’s a ruthless war of all against all, under the constant threat of layoffs, with the losers of the ego-wars being the ones selected for layoffs. … But it gets even worse than that: If you think about it, the engineers (who indulge in this kind of behavior) have sunk (at least in this instance of behavior-categories) to a level of evolution below that of many animals! At least the prairie dogs, when they pop their heads out to make loud announcements, are looking out for the entire town of p-dogs. The same can NOT be said for the engineers… They’re looking out ONLY for themselves. There’s no cooperation here, unlike in prairie-dog-town.
“Conscientiousness” is a VERY important trait for ANY human worker or team member! This includes sharing your expertise, unstintingly! For just one example, see https://news.westernu.ca/2020/11/getting-along-in-space/ , “’Conscientiousness’ key to team success during space missions”
This section is meant to go over cooperation v/s fighting in the workplace, yet again. Yes, I am a military veteran… I’ll refrain from more comments about that, other than to say, I hope and pray for the day when NO ONE will be “called”, in any way, to perform these kinds of duties, any more! The below could be taken as a warning for military veterans transitioning to jobs in the civilian workplace. Beware!
“Cube-Land USA” discriminates against veterans? No, no, absolutely not, in a blatantly visible, obvious way, at least… I think that’s going way too far. There is no conscious, willful, or deliberate bias (of this kind) at Cube-Land. Also, if you as a veteran see (and can document) repeated offenses (see below), and report them to your boss, then I am fairly confident that you can often thwart the intent of the offenders, and prevent them from turning you into their scapegoat (and target for the next layoff). Yes, I know… Whining about your co-workers offends against the very best values of military veterans (see below). But the work environment at Cube-Land has gotten SO hostile to teamwork (and basic human decency), that you’d be doing Cube-Land (as well as yourself) a favor, in systematically reporting these things as best as you can document them. It’s a shame that you have to divert effort away from productive labors for Cube-Land and Cube-Land customers, towards calling down your ruthlessly non-team-playing “co-workers”, but it is what it is. … The below is primarily intended as helpful advice for service veterans struggling with the vicious nature of the current Cube-Land-USA work culture (and ALL companies with raging in-fighting; I’ll bet there’s more out there, not just YOUR instance of Cube-Land). Non-veterans may benefit from reading the below, also... For understanding just how bad things have gotten at Cube-Land, and for better understanding the cultural (work-style ethics) that military vets bring to the civilian world.
As we joined the services, at first, they told us we were “nobody” (“maggots” or similar)… We were subjected to “hazing” and following senseless orders and rules. Why? I later learned why! To drive out those with large egos (no humility). If you have an ego so large that you cannot humbly set it aside, in the name of your fellow soldiers, and the organization and the larger goals, even when you don’t know “why”, then there’s no room for you, in a very dangerous workplace, where all must work as a team, in order to survive… Egos and even lives must be sacrificed for the good of all. This ego-punishing hazing-harassing period is designed (through cultural evolution) to drive out the “whiners, crybabies, and prima donnas”, who are a hazard to all around them, in dangerous professions. Hazing-harassing of the newbies is found in other dangerous professions as well (police, fire-fighters, oil-field workers, etc.) for the exact same reasons. … When you find this being done to you in an office environment (deliberately humiliating treatment, of usually milder sorts than in the military) for the first few months or so as a “newbie”, then my advice is to smile and march on. Don’t be a whiner… Your new co-workers may just be testing you, to see if you have a thin skin and a large ego. But if it goes on and on, past a few months, they are NOT just testing you anymore; they are setting you up to be the scapegoat for the next round of layoffs! Never-ever forgot, at at least SOME Cube-Lands, they have “forced distribution” or “bell curve” performance reviews, and so, you have large temptations to shove your co-workers down, so that you can “pop up”. I have seen it all… Stealing credit from you for your work, trash-talking about you to the boss and everyone, and on and on. You have to tabulate these things and point them out to the boss, if you are to survive, and make Cube-Land a better place to work. … In the services, there is an “all together” ethic. Once you get past basic training, you go from being a “nobody” to (slowly) becoming a “somebody”… But a “somebody” ONLY because you’re part of a team! You ALWAYS must rely on teamwork from your fellow soldiers (even soldiers from other nations)… And reply in kind. You are a bunch of DEAD “somebodies” if you forget that! You must assume your fellow soldier is your team-playing co-worker, till proven otherwise. At Cube-Land, on the other hand, things have gotten so cut-throat (in the face of “bell curve” reviews and constant layoffs) that you must assume that your co-worker is out to make you look bad, till proven otherwise. … In the services, you have ethics along the lines of these semi-official organizational mottoes that I have seen (this is a mash-up): “No whiners, no crybabies, no prima donnas; Just get it done; Whatever it takes”. In combat, you understand crystal-clear, that when going through literal Hell on Earth, one does NOT linger long to carp and moan. It prolongs the misery, and tears down morale. At Cube-Land, whining and moaning is often rewarded! The ones (engineers especially) who can convince the boss that they are super-geniuses, will whine and cry-baby about it when others “bother” them for help or advice. So they can work and concentrate, undisturbed by the “ignorant peons” who are so far below them. The military-style humble team-workers get inundated for help, from others, so they can’t concentrate as much (and they don’t brag as much), so they get laid off. (The REAL heroes are humble… They always say, “I’m just doing my job” when they help you, even heroically help you.) Slowly but surely, the bad elements are driving out the good, at Cube-Land. … Then there’s the ethics and integrity thing. Military officers (even senior ones) are driven out (forced to retire) on a regular basis, for lying, or even for tolerating cheating and lying in their organizations. At SOME Cube-Lands, ALL of the management tells a BIG lie… That there’s no “forced distribution” performance review system! Think about that… To be a member of management at SOME Cube-Lands, you MUST lie! All of management is forced to tell this lie, all the way down the org charts... They’ll only tell you the truth, after they’re laid off. This lie, and this review system (along with rotten individual worker ethics) is at the root of the non-team-playing. If military officers were all telling the same lie, repeatedly, for years, as is done at SOME Cube-Lands, then there’d be Congressional hearings and a large purge of officers. I’m still waiting for the equivalent to happen at XYZ Cube-Land. … In summary, if you as a USA service veteran want to survive at Cube-Land, you must invert all of your assumptions about teamwork (your best values). Cube-Land “leaders” may have turned your co-workers into your enemies! It grinds on the soul of a service veteran… Try not to work for such a place! If stuck in one, try your best to fix it or at least report it!
Advice to Management in Cube-Land
Get rid of “forced distribution” performance reviews. At the very-very least, stop LYING about them! I don’t know who you think you’re fooling… All the employees know you’re lying, and we respect you MUCH less, for that. We wonder how many other lies we’re being told. Many-many business and business-management-consultant, respectable organizations’ web sites list Cube-Land XYZ as having “forced distribution” performance reviews, so you’re not fooling them, either. And many of them flat-out tell you the same thing that I’m telling you: This policy kills teamwork! … If you cannot change your Cube-Land-destroying policies, then at the VERY least, stop lying, and start rewarding teamwork, and punishing back-stabbing. Else Cube-Land is toast! Didn’t you know that those organizations that live by the lie, die by the lie?
The above two sections may seem to be a bit shoe-horned into here. If you (dear reader) think that very strongly, then consider this: The bigger picture is summarized in http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ beatitude #8 (towards the end), where I say that the next step in evolution is for us all to reach towards the ancient ideal of “all men are brothers”. Endless bickering over politics (to include ugly office politics) is NOT going to get us there! The opposite (of “all men are brothers”) is to constantly be looking for scapegoats! Including scapegoats for the next round of layoffs! There is a perverse incentive going on here, in the face of constant layoffs, for interviewers of the “new guy” to select the weakest plausible candidate, so that he or she will be selected for the next layoff! “New guy” will be the “sacrificial anode”, attracting the next layoff to himself, to protect the job veterans, as a “sacrificial anode” protects a building or a ship (or other mostly-metallic structure) from corrosion, by attracting corrosion! (The Google Knows All Things, so, if curious, Google “sacrificial anode”).
I have personally seen the above phenomenon at work in CubeLand. If you need an example (from mainstream media), see https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/amazons-controversial-hire-to-fire-practice-reveals-a-brutal-truth-about-management.html “Amazon's Controversial 'Hire to Fire' Practice Reveals a Brutal Truth About Management.” Also consider “Googling” the term “displaced aggression”, which I believe is related to scapegoating… When we’re angry at the boss (or management in general), we can’t strike out at them, for fear of losing our job. But we can practice “displaced aggression”, and scapegoat a vulnerable co-worker! Kinda like beating the dog instead of having a fight with your husband or wife, you see…
Ta-ta for now (TTFN), more later maybe…
Turn to associated page at http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ (that page considers the 8 beatitudes, and this page here, that you are on right now, is somewhat built around beatitude number eight).
Return to (thematically not much related) root page at root page www.ChurchofSQRLS.com