Resentment Against Achievement: Understanding the Assault upon Ability

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Robert Sheaffer minces no words, translating the proverb "Blessed are the poor" into "Stop blessing those who have made a mess of their lives." In his explosive, controversial book, Sheaffer predicts that a society which truly believes that failure is blessed will not long prevail on this earth.

Excoriating "negative entropy" as a virtue, Sheaffer describes two fundamentally differing systems of morality which, he writes, have created a pervasive, complex conflict throughout the...

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1988 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 198 p. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is ... necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Robert Sheaffer minces no words, translating the proverb "Blessed are the poor" into "Stop blessing those who have made a mess of their lives." In his explosive, controversial book, Sheaffer predicts that a society which truly believes that failure is blessed will not long prevail on this earth.

Excoriating "negative entropy" as a virtue, Sheaffer describes two fundamentally differing systems of morality which, he writes, have created a pervasive, complex conflict throughout the history of mankind. The first he describes as the pride of achievement; the second as the resentment felt against those who achieve by those who do not. These two foundations of morality are totally incompatible and antithetical, yet appear in varying degrees in all societies.

When the morality of achievement predominates, Sheaffer writes, civilizations flourish in commerce, the arts, and science; societies leave a heritage of progress and achievement to future generations. When the morality of resentment gains the upper hand, civilizations decline and eventually perish. Sheaffer describes a civilization as the sum total of all the achievements of its people and, as achievement becomes increasingly discouraged, scorned, and even persecuted, the forward momentum of a society is halted and ultimately reversed. Only in decadent, declining societies, Sheaffer claims, is the whining of the inept mistaken for a lofty moral statement.

Sheaffer recommends that achievers set a goal: helping those filled with resentment learn to achieve. The key element, he writes, is to prevent resentment from becoming a profitable strategy. Achievers must stop seeking to purchase the favorable opinion of those who vilify achievement and force the resentful to fall back on their own capacity to achieve - however meager that may be. The numbers of the resentful will continue to increase as long as the government subsidizes resentment by supporting any and all who refuse to accept the discipline of work.

His final words to those who ascribe to the highest standards of civilization are "Fight Back." The future depends on whether resentment or achievement prevails as the dominant moral vision.

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Editorial Reviews

Laissez Faire
A modern classic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879754471
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1988
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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