The Rising Generation of Blamers


Raise the WageAs I sit here typing, I can scarcely comprehend the work it takes to be a farmer—even moreso a farmer of 100 or 200 years ago. Early mornings, sowing seeds, tending to the animals, all while keeping the house, the children, and life in order. By the time one day was over, it was about time to start the next.

In many ways, the farmer (either of today or 100 years ago) serves as an example of the kind of person America was designed for: hard-working, self-reliant individuals who add to the country’s growth and value.

For the farmer of old, the responsibility of provision laid squarely upon his shoulders. There was no government bailout and certainly no standing before the cows with a sign demanding higher milk output for the same amount of work. It was do or die — in the most literal sense.

The Hobbesian generation of today, on the other hand, feels entitled to just about anything — justified, of course, with some of the most trivial excuses man can invent.

Rather than coming to the conclusion of “gee, maybe I continue to earn minimum wage because I’ve yet to show the company I am worth a higher salary,” we have “minimum wage is not enough to support my kids! Greedy business, do you care if my kids starve?” Because, you know, it’s the company’s fault you decided to have children. There are, of course, families hard-pressed through genuine misfortune, but more often than not these excuses emerge as a way to shift blame from the person being “unjustly” asked to take responsibility for his or her life decisions. In short, it is someone else’s fault.

We are all well aware of minimum wage, “free” birth control, Detroit water, and the endless list of other things that have become, as Thomas Hobbes would put it, “a right by nature.” However, this dystopian fairytale has progressed to the point where writers are now at work attempting to persuade the masses that procrastination is — you guessed it — someone else’s fault. As explained in this article by Alisa Opar in Nautilus:

[British philosopher Derek] Parfit’s view [that humans are not a consistent identity moving through time] was controversial even among philosophers. But psychologists are beginning to understand that it may accurately describe our attitudes towards our own decision-making: It turns out that we see our future selves as strangers. Though we will inevitably share their fates, the people we will become in a decade, quarter century, or more, are unknown to us. This impedes our ability to make good choices on their—which of course is our own—behalf. That bright, shiny New Year’s resolution? If you feel perfectly justified in breaking it, it may be because it feels like it was a promise someone else made.

Emphasis mine.

Did you catch that? In a longwinded (the article is much, much longer) manner, the writer uses a philosopher to attempt an explanation of why it is someone else’s fault we procrastinate.

Rather than stating plainly, “you know, I just don’t feel like doing that right now,” then admitting the laziness and getting over it, we have to build a juggernaut of words to excuse — or rather “explain” — why we procrastinate.

At least the fast food worker places blame on an actual person or corporation. The “psychologist” of this age is attempting to blame procrastination on an imaginary version of yourself. Yep, sanity set sail from that article within one paragraph.

So it goes—as the necessity of blame-placing grows, so will the absolute absurdities of those seeking to create a rationale for why it is so.

It is little wonder why so few cry out at this country’s leadership and their blame-shifting—doing so, for many, would hit too close to home.

Image credit: CT Post

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  1. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Oh good Lord! If you read the whole article it becomes clear that the researchers are trying to use this future-self model to help people  quit  procrastinating. This model may or may not work, but if it does work, why should anybody object to it? Isn’t less procrastination a good thing?

    But if procrastination or irresponsibility can derive from a poor connection to your future self, strengthening this connection may prove to be an effective remedy. This is exactly the tactic that some researchers are taking. Anne Wilson, a psychologist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, has manipulated people’s perception of time by presenting participants with timelines scaled to make an upcoming event, such as a paper due date, seem either very close or far off. “Using a longer timeline makes people feel more connected to their future selves,” says Wilson. That, in turn, spurred students to finish their assignment earlier, saving their end-of-semester self the stress of banging it out at the last minute.

    Why should we care how people get rid of their procrastination, as long as they do? Successfully acting like a more responsible person is more important than blaming yourself, anyhow.

    • #1
  2. user_657161 Inactive

    TLDNR.  Want to do some research on growing black pepper in Costa Rica?

    • #2
  3. user_997034 Member

    Given that  we now have a positive reinforcing audience for these blamers with the left leaning media,  people are encouraged to spout displeasure on anything they deem specifically anti the progressive list of does and don’ts.  With POTUS cheerleading from the sideline prodding them on my guess is it is only human nature to keep bark until you’re told to shut up.  My real question is – where’s the tipping point of the “silent majority” to no longer be silent?

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  4. Julia PA Inactive
    Julia PA

    Continuously repeating immature choices (like procrastination, etc) as a life pattern makes you no stranger to foolishness…yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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  5. user_49770 Inactive

    The  rising generational thought process of promoting either procrastination or a why bother mentality has been about for some time.

    Simply put as it were, most do not wish or chose to be challenged in lifes endeavors.

    The object is to promote success  via merit rather than an entitlement exit strategy.

    Perhaps in a future time when people come to grips with the fact that  no one will provide them with an easy out and the realities of existance  become real, this is the nature today.

    Try denying a spoiled child writ large, this should be interesting to see in a culture when certain truths visit. Look forward to the sound of a lot of scalded cats.

    As an odd side bar the government has finally figured out to herd cats.,, now that is disturbing.

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  6. Larry3435 Member

    I really don’t understand the objection.  Although the “future self” construct seems kind of pompous, it is beyond dispute that human psychology includes a tendency to indulge the urge for immediate gratification over long term self-interest (what Freud called the id and the ego, respectively).  This is a fact.  It is descriptive, not normative.  Psychologists are supposed to deal in facts, not wishful thinking.  It is incredibly dangerous to condemn scientists for speaking the truth just because that truth is unpleasant.  Only by recognizing the darker truths of our natures can we hope to overcome them.

    Indeed, much of what we call “conscience” (what Freud called superego) consists of moral principles intended to offset the human tendency to indulge in immediate gratification.  For example, if you look at the “seven deadly sins” (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony), every one of them is a form of indulgence in the urge for immediate gratification over long term self interest.  That is why we call them sins.  These are certainly urges best avoided.  But let’s not pretend they don’t exist.

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  7. Inactive

    Only by recognizing the darker truths of our natures can we hope to overcome them.

    This adds to the foundational point of this article. Practical example:

    Boss: “Why didn’t you complete that report on time?”

    Employee: “Apologies. My future self remains to me a phantasmal void with which I have difficulty relating. You see, this future self as I perceived, didn’t feel the necessity to write this report even after I agreed to do so. Rest assured, you have my apologies and I will scold my future self to ensure it no longer makes commitments to deadlines it cannot keep.”

    That’s not truth, fact, or science. It’s insanity. A response to which the employer would be justified in kindly asking security see the employee off the premises. 

    The problem with grandiose, longwinded dissertations given by modern (and old) philosophers, is that they muddle rather than clarify, the truth.

    Mention was made of “the seven deadly sins” which is exactly right. However, the point of the multiplied words are not to “avoid” these sins, but rather to keep them. 

    Like the Good Book says: 

    “When words are many, sin is not absent . . .” —Proverbs 10:19

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  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Thomas McGee:

    …A response to which the employer would be justified in kindly asking security see the employee off the premises.

    What you tell other people, especially your boss, about your own internal struggles with sin, and what you tell yourself in the privacy of your own head to keep yourself in line often  ought  to be very different things. That’s no argument.

    Planning ahead is not only a moral imperative, it’s also a learned skill. Exercises that help you learn this skill are not out of line if they actually work.

    Thomas McGee:

    Like the Good Book says:

    “When words are many, sin is not absent . . .” —Proverbs 10:19

    If many words only serve to obfuscate moral exhortation, never to clarify it, then why is the Bible so goldurn long?

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher

    Engineers have a saying: if it’s stupid but it works, it’s not stupid.  It may sound like psychobabble, but there are probably people out there who could do better if their connection to their “future selves” was a little less tenuous. 

    …and welcome to Ricochet, Thomas!

    • #9
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