None of us are entirely self-made. We must recognise what we…

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+520 – None of us are entirely self-made. We must recognise what we owe to the communities that make personal success possible. – Michael Sandel on the tyranny of merit.

2022-04-04 11:12:38

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15 Comments
  1. This is more than speculation, i remember from my university psychology days looking at reasearch showing people’s tendency to attribute personal successes to internal causes and failures to external causes. While doing the opposite for others.

    Example. If someone does well on a test they attribute it to their smarts, at the same time they often rationalize another person doing well with something like ‘the teacher likes them or they got to study more’. If they failed a test its because they were tired or unlucky but if someone else failed its because they are stupid. Studies showed this clear trend when accessing how people attribute causes.

    The reality is we have a natural tendency to overestimate our successes as a matter of self meritocracy and ignore outside influences. But do the opposite for our failures. I cant link the exact studies, its been 7 years since i read them, but it wont be hard to find many on this topic if you wanna dig.

  2. Regardless of what they want you to think, every “self-made man” had a mother… 🙂

  3. In this interview, philosopher Michael Sandel discusses the tyranny ofmeritocracy, contributive justice, and our ideas about the common good.Meritocratic hubris has led those who succeed to believe their successis entirely their own, overlooking the luck and good fortunate that’shelped them on their way. The idea of a self-made individual is anappealing but flawed account of human agency that ignores the role ofour communities in our success. The idea that a degree is the key toupward social mobility has led to credentialism crowding out the love oflearning. As a result, we have arrived at the assumption that salariesare a measure of contribution to the common good – an assumption that’sbeen deeply undermined during the recent pandemic. We must thinkcarefully, Sandel argues, about what we consider to be the common good,and how we value and reward contributions to it. We must disabuseourselves of the concept of the self-made success, and recognise ourindebtedness to the communities that make our success possible and givemeaning to our lives.

  4. Similar to iron sharpening iron, a human mind tempers another through discussion and example.

  5. Wth. 90% of value comes outside particular society and labour value: the windfall value, gift from the past generations, machinery, what not.

    How is this harvard snobby piece of crap still writing his useless books?

  6. What happens when we are no longer comfortable with people taking pride in their community?

    It seems like it would lead to helplessness and wandering, the worst place to end up.

  7. We really need to discourage these people shitting on merit. Merit is extremely important. You want the best doctor, engineer, lawyer, to be based on merit. It seems like too many people on Reddit want everyone to be exactly the same. No matter how good you are you get paid the same. Somehow dog walkers and surgeons have equal impact. It’s just not true.

    We need people to work hard and strive toward excellence.

  8. The justification for collectivism, heavy taxation, and authoritarianism since the beginning of human existence…

    Collectivists over-emphasize the importance of “communities” as justification to demand sacrifice as though the collective is more important – or as important – as the individual or the family. It is not.

    Humans are just as much inherently competitors as we are cooperators, and a free, pluralistic society with a limited government is the answer.

  9. Reply
    youjustabattlerapper April 4, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    >None of us are entirely self made

    Aight aight true true

    >We must recognise what we owe to the communities

    Hold up is this r/politics?

  10. none of us are self made, but our success can be self made

  11. Reply
    sexylegs0123456789 April 4, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    Hate when people say “I’m self made”. No – every encounter with every person (who has been impacted by their own communities) have impacted that success. The money you make, the car you drive, the house you have only exists because of the people who make it for those who do something others find valuable.

  12. Elizabeth Warren:

    ““There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

  13. I think this post is pretty telling of the dominant Philosophy in this subreddit given how many upvotes it has gotten in a short amount of time.

  14. Must is a strong word because it implies there is a consequence if we do not act as stated. However there is no defined tangible effect to that cause, hence this whole argument is baseless. Besides that, emotions are a choice and you only must feel how you choose. Writing might make it easier for the author to think things through completely when this is improved.

  15. I’m found the interview interesting. A bit outside my normal interests but engaging.

    My take away is his call for us (society) to *rethink* meritocracy and it’s impact on our social fabric. This analysis is focused on individual merit and the rewards (measure of success) that the individual may or may not be deserving of. Sandel points to the tendency to discount the other factors that contribute to individual success.

    It occurs to me that the same critical anaysis approach could be applied to business entities as well as individuals. We laud successful businesses but consider little about the socio-economic environment that contributed to that success or them impact theirmsuccess has in turn on the very society that fostered it. Perhaps some rethinking needs to be done here as well.

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