Hard-working vs. Lazy??

From a comment I just left on a random old blog post that I stumbled upon:

Capitalism rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy.

No. Capitalism rewards some of each because you do not have to work hard in order to be successful. Sure, it helps. But if you think about it in more detail, capitalism rewards lucky and/or intelligent people (both not something one can become on purpose) and punishes those who:

– are disabled
– are clumsy
– are not that smart
– were abused or neglected as a child
– are mentally ill
– have been misdiagnosed for years
– grew up poor
– had no access to good education as a child
– grew up in a different country
– are unattractive
– etc.

I don’t know why I bothered, seeing as the article was a little silly and naive anyway. But, I guess it was good for something since I just remembered what I’ve been meaning to say for ages:

People with low IQs  need some love, too. Seriously. No matter how much you hear about all other kinds of discrimination, apparently everyone thinks making fun of “stupid” people is okay. I disagree. I thought I was smart (and everybody told me so) until I developed chronic pain and my ability to concentrate dissolved into nothingness. Now I know that intelligence is relative. And in the meantime I have also met many wonderful people who appeared stupid and were really just mentally ill or grew up under the shittiest circumstances. I have learned some of my most important life lessons from someone who believes he is too stupid to learn English.

Most people don’t seem to realise that you can be very bad at expressing yourself and yet have intelligent thoughts. That intelligence shows differently in different people. That being less smart than others does NOT equal being mean, lazy or ignorant. That intelligent people can be ignorant, too.

Judging people on their apparent level of intelligence is no better than judging them on their appearance, as we have little control over both. Am I the only person on earth who thinks that way?! So far I have yet to meet a single one who gets this … but then again, maybe I just can’t express myself well enough. Ha ha.


6 Responses to “Hard-working vs. Lazy??”

  1. Shaun Says:

    People with low IQ do … what in a non-capitalist society? I know you think you’re making a great point defending the defenseless, but … what?

    That said, your list is the naive list — I know individuals who qualify for many of what you listed who are doing just fine.

    Still, people who don’t contribute enough to “make a living” must live on charity regardless of the economic system. It doesn’t matter if it’s government or private charity.

    So, uh, until you present an alternative that “does better”, you’ve made no real point.

  2. bigliberty Says:

    “Capitalism rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy.”

    True, that point is a bit simplistic. Capitalism doesn’t “reward” anyone, necessarily — you can be very hard-working, spending your life toiling away at say, making a product that no one particularly wants, and you won’t be successful. You need the rest of society’s “vote” so to speak, in order to be successful in the capitalistic system.

    What capitalism is, at its core, is the most successful economic system where a certain part of society isn’t outright enslaved in other to serve the other part of the society (an argument that this is going on in current capitalism ignores the labor market, and is just dishonest). By “slavery,” I’d say being taxed at 90% and above is a reasonable threshold. Any other system of “social justice” (which is the opposite of actual justice, interestingly) promotes the slavery of one segment of society to serve the interests of others, in its very code. Capitalism does not.

    And Shaun is correct — what you’re advocating is public charity (which we have in our current system) for those who cannot work. In pure capitalism, private charity would be a much greater force than now, where more people would have more of their own money to give to charities, if they so chose. Arguing that private charity won’t exist under capitalism is fallacious.

  3. Tiana Says:

    Shaun, I have no idea what you think my point is. I had two points, actually, and I believe I spelled them out in the post:

    1. That guy is mistaken.
    2. A person’s value does not depend on their intelligence.

    Whatever the is point you’re talking about, I wasn’t even trying to make it.

    BigLiberty, same problem – I am NOT advocating what you think I am. In fact, I wish the world would realise that those people can work, and would in most cases love to do so, if only they were given the opportunity. To support them financially in which way ever and expecting them to be happy with what they’ve got is the wrong approach. How many employers do you know who take people who failed school? What about people who can only work three hours a week? And what can we do to prevent people from failing school in the first place? What can we do to supply even the poorest families with good quality healthcare so that a child’s bad health will not keep him or her from leading a fulfilled life?

    You speak of slavery, and I can see your point, but in my opinion capitalism is only a different form of slavery. Instead of picking the job that they enjoy most, people pick one that pays well – not because they want to, but because they’re afraid they might otherwise be unable to support their families. What a joke. I have said this before, but I can’t imagine how many genius inventions we have already missed out on just because the genius in question was either too busy making money to go ahead with his idea, hindered by restrictions put upon him by his employer, chose the wrong job, or failed school due to an undiagnosed illness.

    Charity is the wrong solution. It requires you to realise that you need it, to request it, and for your request to be accepted. Sounds reasonable in theory, but in reality there are cases like mine: I spend a whole decade thinking I was just lazy because everyone including doctors told me so. If I had known that I was sick, I could have requested all kinds of assistance with school and such. But since I didn’t know, they threw me out. And then there are all those who apply for disability and don’t get it although they are quite obviously disabled! Even if a truly capitalist system worked out as wonderfully as you describe it, some would still end up falling through the cracks. That’s not okay.

    I’m afraid if you asked me for a solution, any answer I could give would be laughed at as utopian. But I do believe that another world is possible.

  4. the fat nutritionist Says:

    You know, I have thought about the intelligence issue a bit, because it always bothered me a lot. I went to a school that sort of partially integrated the developmentally disabled kids with the “normal” kids, and it always really bothered me that those disabled kids were automatically written off as stupid, or whatever.

    What I decided, and I’m not sure if this is correct or whatever, but it’s the compromise I came to with myself — is that curiosity, for me, trumps intelligence any day. Someone may not have outstanding cognitive potential, just in terms of the way their brain is structured, but if those people are engaged in life, and curious about how the world works, hot damn. I totally respect that. Because I’ve met people who were “traditionally” intelligent who just couldn’t be arsed to give a damn about anything, and I find that very difficult to relate to, or to respect in any way. Because, essentially, whatever raw cognitive potential they might have is basically wasted.

    Making the most of your potential, through having gumption or courage or curiosity and passion, or whatever you want to call it, always speaks volumes to me about a person’s character — far more than whatever physical/mental structures luck has gifted them with.

    Anyway. I’m still rambling, only now I can’t seem to confine it just to my own blog 🙂

  5. Tiana Says:

    I agree that curiosity is very important. I’m not going to say that it “trumps” anything specifically because I’m sick and tired of arranging things in any sort of order at the moment, but it’s certainly useful – sometimes more useful than intelligence.

  6. abdullah Says:

    i personally wouldn’t feel too comfortable if someone who is stupid, clumsy, or mentally ill is performing my brain surgery. not everyone is born equal – that does not mean we must throw certain people away – but excellence and dilligence must be rewarded proportionately. i’m quite happy judging my doctor, car manufacturer and other service providers by their intelligence.

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