Skip to comments.You've Got To Be Cruel To Be Kind
Posted on 11/25/2018 9:48:50 PM PST by Lazamataz
There was a song, in the 1970's, titled "Cruel To Be Kind", performed by Nick Lowe. The lyrics, in part, read "You've gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure, cruel to be kind, it's a very fine line."
Recently, a relative and I happened to share a particular viewpoint about a particular issue, and I celebrated the agreement. Yet, she implied she wanted to understand me better, to understand why I hold the beliefs I do. I seek to be understood.
My spiritual life has drifted from Roman Catholicism, to an exploration of Judaism (my father coming from a Ukrainian Jewish heritage), then to New Age spiritualism, then to a generic form of Christianity. Here, in Christianity, I have found what I sought.
However, this essay is not focused on the spiritual, but more on the affairs of men. In this arena, my viewpoint is one of competitive capitalism and the favoring of willing struggle for our personal excellence and achievement.
Socialism in all its flavors, to include outright Communism, promises something it is dangerous to promise: Equality. While it seems, on its, surface a 'kinder, gentler way', it is not. The equality of results removes any goals, and kills any desire to excel. If a shoddy, poorly crafted brass ring is offered to you and every other person, why would you stretch to get the shinier, higher quality one? It turns out that competition and capitalism is the more benevolent approach.
When every individual seeks to better his financial and social position -- and, as in capitalism, when there is a point to do so! -- each person will develop his or her unique talents to offer something of value to others. The computer programmer will increase his skillset; the artist will improve his art; the tradesman will improve his craft. In contrast, the system of socialism (with the end result of one's work being the same, no matter what skill or diligence you bring to your occupation) there is no motivation to improve. There is no motivation to succeed.
It goes back to the thought-experiment of the Commons. If, say, there is a communal garden -- a Commons -- that everyone works and the harvest is split equally, the motivation of workers will be to put the least amount of work into the Commons, and still be assured of an equal share. Cut that Commons up into individual plots of land, each worked and each reaped individually, and watch as the harvest becomes bountiful.
So it is in our marketplace. We all need to compete, to offer something of value, something we uniquely bring. We sharpen our swords on other men's shields. Competition is healthy and causes us to grow.
There has been a tendency to remove competition from every arena of life. Children in sports are given 'participation trophies', for example, which teaches them that equal rewards are available, no matter the level of effort. This is an artificial, very detrimental construct. Artificial constructs are appearing everywhere. We now hear of '57 genders'. Absurd. You have the DNA of a man or a woman. Choose your sexual predilection, fine, but do not tell me that your gender is a Bi-Trans-Chicken-Pan-Wanker. It's not. It's male or female.
These artificial constructs have emerged as our society has become fat. With more wealth and ease, we have become weaker -- psychologically, physically, and spiritually. The emergence of many artificial constructs puts our race at odds with natural constructs -- the very ones that strengthen humanity.
Weakness of the very spirit of society has given rise to the Snowflake Generation. Now, today's young need 'safe spaces' and 'protection from triggering'. Ideologies are shouted down in colleges -- colleges! -- as unacceptable to even discuss. Colleges should be the very place that ideologies should be explored and put to the test.
Societies go through an ebb and flow: There are lean times, where people develop a strong work ethic and oftentimes an accompanying moral foundation. There are fat times, in which people become lazy and develop every manner of aberrant behavior. Rome saw that 'fat time', now it is ours.
Competitive capitalism will not save our society, but it will instill in us a form of strength. It propelled the United States to an unchallenged world dominance in technology and innovation. What appears, on its surface, to be cruel -- competition -- is actually kind.
Life often presents this conundrum. Mother Nature is a bitch. She is a tough-as-nails, unforgiving and relentless woman. She will kill you quickly and without remorse, if you make mistakes in the wild. Yet it is this very cruelty which turns out to be kind, because it forges a better person, a better species. I have seen this conundrum myself, in my personal affairs. What I thought I wanted would have killed me; what I thought was a tragedy turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me.
Just like the song says, "You've gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure." Just as those lyrics state, in the arenas in which we have influence, we can measure the "kind cruelty". We can temper it with a little compassion. Competitive capitalism creates wealth, so we are able to afford to help those who simply cannot provide for themselves -- such as the truly disabled -- and to be able undertake efforts to mitigate the most toxic effects of pollution.
Original graphic by TheOatmeal
I remember that song. It was sweet and bouncy. The Archies could have done it. A real toe tapper that is hard to stop hearing. Sort of like the infamous “Afternoon Delight”.
Good article. Definitely worth the read.
Dammit, now I have that song in my head, even though I haven’t heard it in 30 years.
Yabut the text of the article.
Yabut the text of the article.
YAY he read the text of the article!
I want a safe space from the left, and I want it now.
That Vonnegut story demonstrated the artificial construct of equal outcomes. Kurt did so accidentally, as he was an avowed socialist.
Your article made me think of that story.
As soon as I started reading, I thought of the hobbled ballerinas and Harrison with his head clamped up.
Forced equality, deliberately dumbing down society.
It fits, even if he was a socialist hippie.
O ye of little faith. I was going to post something about having dog tags that said ‘Protestant’, or just plain ‘no preference’, then I read the rest of the article, and while digesting it, thought I’d say I’m here. So how’s that for a run-on sentence?
Whew. That tired me out.
I’m not on your ping list because why???
It sees ‘null and void’ and drops that entry.
So many danged werds, can’t you just text or make a meme with a pikture or something?
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