Beginning of Right Wing Authoritarian Thought Process
The basic underlying principle I have is that people are responsible for their own actions and choices. Rich or poor you are the only one responsible for your choices. Nobody owes anyone anything. There are different kinds of people and some are better than others.
My family was poor to lower middle class. My father only had an 8th grade education. His family were farmers who lost their farm during the great depression. They migrated from Texas to California. He stayed behind for a few years to work on his Uncle’s farm before he too came to CA. He worked as a farm hand and did other odd jobs. He chose to work very hard. At one point he was working 3 jobs so my parents could buy a house. My mom was abandoned by her mom when she was 10 and spent at least 6 years in foster care. She married my father at 16. Together my parents made the choices to work hard, save money, buy a house and raise 5 kids all who made different choices. The oldest married at 17 and is still married. One worked in a orange processing plant, chose not to move up into management and was just laid off after working there for 30 years. He is accepting of the choices he made. The middle one went to bars, met a guy who didn’t work got married had 5 kids she couldn’t afford and lived on welfare for 12 years. She believes she is ‘owed’ and expects handouts. She doesn’t take responsibility for any of her choices. She finally divorced and remarried a man who works. The 4th kid chose to drink and do drugs. Selfishly causing fear and pain for years. He died last year at the age of 49. I worked hard, went to collage and have a good job. I have had more success than my older siblings. I have a higher standard of living than any of my siblings. It is due to the choices each of us have made. Nothing was handed to me Nothing was handed to my parents. They chose to work hard. They chose to make decisions to better their family. I chose to go to school and work hard. I earned scholarships and took out loans to pay for school. I chose to have a better life. I chose how to save for the rainy day and retirement. I am not responsible for the choices of my siblings. I do not owe them anything. They must face the consequences of their own actions. I could of chosen to be the victim and stay stuck in the adverse beginnings I was given. The rich and their money have no impact on my choices. I could of chosen to not to work hard, not to go to school. I could of just whined, oh woe is me life is not fair, everybody has more money. I can’t do anything. Poor me. Someone needs to give me money because I’m poor. I chose to be responsible for my life and it’s outcome.
Too many people are quick to play the victim role and abdicate personal responsibility. The “oh poor me” mentality is limited and selfish. Just because I made good choices doesn’t mean I have to take care of those that didn’t. They need to take responsibility for their own condition. Those that expect/demand a handout, a freebee are the selfish and greedy ones. Some rich are born rich. Yet some worked very hard to get there. They shouldn’t be forced to give up what they have earned because someone else is greedy and expects everything to be handed to them. They are not lucky, they worked hard. I am not lucky. I deserve what I have because I earned it, I didn’t win it, it wasn’t handed to me, I wasn’t lucky. I earned it. I made the choices I needed and I worked very hard. I shouldn’t be forced to pay more in taxes to give money to the poor who chose not to better themselves and take the easy way.
My tax dollars should go to provide basic services a community needs. Fire protection, police, education, government, military. Education is the key. Not enough tax dollars go to education. I’m torn about social services. Because it is the children who suffer for their parents poor choices. Our current system rewards the poor choice makers.
I quote I clipped from a calendar sums it up “If we believe ourselves to be victims, we become victims to justify our belief. If we believe ourselves to be responsible and capable, we become responsible and capable to justify our belief. And in both cases, we reap the results – or the excuses – that our attitudes create for us.”
End of Right Wing Authoritarian Thought Process
Before I begin I will be using the pronoun “you” as if I was talking to this person specifically in the rest of this post.
After thinking about it I realized the main thinking flaw in the thought process, which was RIGID thinking. No shared responsibility, no cooperation, no meeting half way, no talk on probabilities, no consideration of environment or internal (mental health) or external conditions, most of the time the thinking was Black and White, All-Or-Nothing, and inflexible. They focus on the relatively little money spent to help people enormously and ignore the enormous money being acquired, wasted and trapped by the super powerful, that could be used to create a great society. They don’t care about how skinny or long the tightrope is that people have to balance on to avoid falling into the abyss.
“The basic underlying principle I have is that people are responsible for their own actions and choices”. Well that’s a good start but pretty simple minded. What about shared responsibility? You mean to say our “choices” are completely independent of our internal and external conditions (genetic code, physiology and learned experience)?
“Rich or poor you are the only one responsible for your choices”. What if your choices are bad and worse? Are people responsible for the way their parents raised them? You use the word “choice” in a very simple manipulative way. You had a tough life and were ABLE to work hard and make good choices. That’s impressive and it’s also something to be proud of. However it doesn’t make you more deserving as a person.
“Nobody owes anyone anything”. Well whatever. Who says? So in that case we should have no government and no laws right? You don’t seem to realize how dependent you are on other people. It’s not about “owing” it’s about what works and doesn’t.
“There are different kinds of people and some are better than others”. People have different abilities, conditions and properties of course but no one is better or more deserving than another. SeeWhy No One is Better than Anyone Else.
One worked in a orange processing plant, chose not to move up into management and was just laid off after working there for 30 years. You mention this because this person should have chose management? What if he or she didn’t like or was any good at, that kind of work? This person was suppose to avoid being laid off for even longer than 30 years? 30 years is pretty good. What do you expect/demand?
She believes she is ‘owed’ and expects handouts. She doesn’t take responsibility for any of her choices. Being on welfare is not a great life. Nobody wants to be stuck on welfare. I think if we have government at all it should give everybody a certain minimum. What kind of alternative did she have I wonder? The money saved for getting rid of welfare (which would cause more suffering, hospital emergencies and death) is nothing compared to what we would save if we got rid of corporate welfare which you support by voting for conservatives. So who is more irresponsible? Do you take responsibility for corporate welfare? Funny how that is not important to you.
“The 4th kid chose to drink and do drugs”. You mean to say this person simply said to himself, yeah I’d like to be hooked on drugs? No consideration of genetic pre-disposition causal factors or peer pressure, or dealing with not completely getting what he needed from his parents emotionally? And if you had all of your brothers conditions you would of been able to choose “above” that? No, some very important conditions between you and your brother were different.
“Selfishly causing fear and pain for years. He died last year at the age of 49”. Well too bad for your brother huh? I guess he deserved it. It’s too bad he wasn’t as good a person as you were. How selfish for him to cause fear and pain for himself.
“I worked hard, went to collage and have a good job. I have had more success than my older siblings. I have a higher standard of living than any of my siblings”. No brag just fact ah. I knew you were better! And less lazy and more responsible too (as a person) I’m sure… you were ABLE to work hard. No chance you had different conditions than your brother?
“It is due to the choices each of us have made.” I see that you think he just wanted to make bad choices (his choice) and you just wanted good choices. He was inferior and you were better. It’s too bad people don’t want to make good choices.
“Nothing was handed to me”. Apparently you were given some ability to make better choices, which you got for free which you don’t count. After all you didn’t earn THAT ability. None of us get to choose our genetic code or our learned experience when young.
“I chose to have a better life”. Well of course you did and everyone else just simply chose to make bad choices… you were ABLE to choose a better life, your siblings didn’t have the right conditions for it.
“I deserve what I have because I earned it, I didn’t win it, it wasn’t handed to me, I wasn’t lucky. I earned it. I made the choices I needed and I worked very hard. I shouldn’t be forced to pay more in taxes to give money to the poor who chose not to better themselves and take the easy way”. The easy way! How ignorant can you be? What is easy about being sick and poor! You chose sociopathic behavior and you should be paying for the wars emergency rooms, tax breaks for the rich and corporate welfare. You made the irresponsible choice of voting for conservative politicians that supports the sociopathy of financially migrating most of the money up to the top few from the rest of us. Of course we can never prove you were at fault for any specific thing your leaders do.
“Too many people are quick to play the victim role and abdicate personal responsibility”. There is a seed of truth to the fact some individuals who have adversity do not act in their best interest and feel sorry for themselves and their behavior becomes passive or self-defeating. These “victims” need to learn a more empowering way of thinking. But this is mainly a psychological problem and requires mental health treatment which the government should provide if they can’t afford such treatment. In most cases people with adverse psychological adversity are not well off financially and probably can’t afford private industry costs.
“Those that expect/demand a handout, a freebee are the selfish and greedy ones. Some rich are born rich”. What kind of upside down planet of the apes world do you live in? You got it reversed. No, the selfish and greedy ones (at the top where a billion is not enough and don’t care if their money is at the expense of everyone else) are the selfish and greedy ones.
They shouldn’t be forced to give up what they have earned because someone else is greedy and expects everything to be handed to them. I agree. So why are you letting the rich and powerful do this to us?
“My tax dollars should go to provide basic services a community needs. Fire protection, police, education, government, military”. Education is the key. Not enough tax dollars go to education. Without health care and health (mental and physical), education is not going to help much. Normally I would agree with your statement if you added health care, but with this extreme thinking you have I want to ask, Why? I thought no one owes anybody anything? Won’t we have to tax people to get these things? Why do you think you have a right to tax anybody for anything? Why shouldn’t you provide for these things yourself independently of any government assistance? Do you need help from other people?
“I’m torn about social services. Because it is the children who suffer for their parents poor choices”. Well guess what, these children grow up to be adults. So when they become adults they no longer are victims and should just “will power” out of any situation no matter what?
“Our current system rewards the poor choice makers”. Yeah I agree, like George Bush!
It’s not that people don’t have to take ANY responsibility for their actions… of course they do. But responsibility has to be shared.
You have to take responsibility for how you affect people in society indirectly, not just directly. Social or societal responsibility is part of “personal responsibility”. Right Wingers conveniently filter out this subset of responsibility.
The person I have been responding to here had a very tough life, but not so tough that he or she couldn’t get unstuck.
Maybe this person is mad because they could of used some help back at that time and think it’s not fair for others to get something “for free” which they didn’t get and should have. Actually this person did get that important combination of conditions to get unstuck. Maybe this person wants others to toil and suffer like he or she did.
Since life is getting harder for everybody (including you) I have to assume punishing the sick and poor is even more important to you than even raising your standard of living!
These right wing authoritarian followers like this person are ignorant of how unlikely it is to get out of a powerless situation because they drew the wrong conclusion when they got out. They are ignorant of all the incredible complicated multi-faceted difficulties people can have. Instead of thinking, “I don’t want anybody else to go through what I went through”, you thought “I want to make sure no one gets an easier way out of adversity like I didn’t get”.
One of the most important and basic ways to prevent this “stuck-ness” would be offering everyone affordable health care. The positive ripple effect would be dramatic (not to mention the cost savings in administration and marketing costs) and (not to mention the money saved for healthier happier more productive, less sick people). After health and health care is achieved then education could help enormously, but only after health is achieved.
Any number of adversities can keep a person down and the fact that there are a few people who overcome incredible adversities (usually they are simple and extreme but NOT multifaceted and complicated) doesn’t mean that everyone else should. When someone on TV says “if I can do it, so can you”, that’s a lie. No, your conditions are different than the person on TV! The fact is if you look with a microscope those people had something extra with their mind or belief systems or physical health or enough simplicity (they only have one isolated extreme problem instead of a complex nest) or some set of sufficient conditions that allowed them to overcome their adversity.
We know logically and factually that if we use our wealth to re-invest in the people that our society flourishes and, on the other side of that, if we allow the abundance of prosperity to be sucked up to top few, that the society will move toward despotism. Wealth distribution goes to quality (and quantity) of life, and what is more important than that? Voting for people who are against a balanced wealth distribution is irresponsible. And voting for people who get in the way of making sure everyone at least has their basic needs met is deplorable!
You can say “it’s a free country” to justify your draconian rules, but is it? Freedom is not an absolute. The poor are not “free” They supposedly live in a “free” country but are they really free? No, true freedom requires power which requires health and money. Freedom is relative. We live in a society and so we affect each other so their is no ABSOLUTE freedom.
If you cared about people you would also want there to be more government money spent on medical research and development for remedies and cures for physical and mental problems and spend much more money on improving the quality of life and for creating a higher standard of living for all people!
If we give people safety nets they often can rebound and be given a second chance. But the person I am writing this article around probably doesn’t want to see others get a second chance because they must think people should be “all knowing” and be able to predict the future, otherwise how could they be certain to make the right choice? In my opinion someone who thinks everything is a simple choice and that people are 100% responsible for ALL their conditions, really are not rational and reasonable enough to vote.
I say to this person, you make mistakes all the time like every other human being, it’s just that your consequences have not been devastatingl, … at least not yet. But unpredictible catastrophic things can happen to anybody and it’s irresponsible to not insure against that. It makes no sense to demand infallibility on others, hypocritically similar to you not demanding perfection for yourself. You preach “personal responsibility” but it’s irresponsible to take away safety nets for people in an imperfect world such as this. So quit hiding behind “personal responsibility” and learn the Golden Rule so we can have a great country again!