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Becoming a rat

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redeeming
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I'am reading AS now, I'm halfway through the third part, but I have the feeling that I missed some things. By that I mean things that are part of Rands philosophy.

This became all the more clear to me when my friend told me about this book of his. This friend is still in college, but he knows he wants to make carreer. So he has this book which his father recommended him. It is called "How to become a rat", and it teaches the "art of backstabbing, gossiping and conspiring". People that want to do things the clean way will find that they are deceiving themselves. No, not only reasonal arguments, but also the underground, political game is just as important. At least, thats what the back of the book says. So this book teaches you how to make carreer by means of spreading gossip, backstabbing and even make others lose their job.

Now, I know that this sounds like the way of the looters, and is everything which AS portrays as bad. I wanted to make a discussion of it, but if mentioned friend would ask me why it's immoral to do what that book says, I wouldn't know what to say.

So that why I ask here, whats Rands take on this, or objectivisms take for all that matters?

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It's always good to concretize these things by looking for examples that are as close as possible. That way, one is keeping things real. Do you know of real-life people who are good examples of whatever this book espouses? i.e. people who are back-stabbers etc.?

If so, are these people successful? If so, in what ways? Are they failures in other ways? What lessons do you learn from their successes or failures?

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Snerd asked you some good questions, you should try to answer them.

Looking at this purely pragmatically, I've worked for various different businesses for the better part of 30 years and I've never known anyone who was able to survive and prosper long-term using the strategy described in this book. On the other hand, if you're interested in entering politics then maybe you should read the book and take its advice to heart. :smartass:

Seriously, you have to understand that under Capitalism, individuals trade and associate with each other on a voluntary basis, giving and receiving value for value. This is true for both business and customer and employer and employee. The idea that somehow you can get ahead by trampling and mistreating others is a Marxist concept that probably has some validity to it in a Socialist or Marxist economy where favors and political "pull" dictate decision making, rather than merit and voluntary association.

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I've known some people like this in my career. Invariably they either get out ratted by a more vicious predator or more often than not they are beaten by a guy that is better at his job, a better leader and a better human being. Either way they end up a looser. I've also noticed that these people are invariably unhappy, cynical, bitter and have fucked up personal lives.

Sounds like fun eh? :smartass:

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I've known some people like this in my career. Invariably they either get out ratted by a more vicious predator or more often than not they are beaten by a guy that is better at his job, a better leader and a better human being. Either way they end up a looser. I've also noticed that these people are invariably unhappy, cynical, bitter and have fucked up personal lives.

Sounds like fun eh? :smartass:

Oh yeah, people like this definitely exist. In fact, I think far more of them exist in a mixed economy than would be the case in a true Capitalist economy. Nevertheless, I've never known any of them to become truly successful or to be particularly happy people. As you say, they are generally quite F-ed up and fairly miserable individuals.

Redeeming, you should tell us more about your friend's father who recommended the book. What is he like?

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Read "The 48 Laws of Power" instead. Not for the pragmatism and cynicism it contains, but just to understand the mindset.

It is based on the teachings of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu etc. ( so it's bound to be a better read than something called "Becoming a Rat"), and it is at least in part aimed at helping the reader recognize and counter those tactics in other people. Plus it is full of historical tales and anecdotes that enrich your knowledge while keeping you relaxed and entertained.

P.S. One thing you shouldn't do, if you decide to read it, is focus on the "laws" themselves. Those seem pretty useless to me, especially to an Objectivist, but even for someone who would want to become an amoral political animal.

It's best to focus on the stories themselves, and draw your own conclusions from the historical and anecdotal concretes.

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I read the laws of power and the other two books by that author.

The one about war witch was my favorite it had the lowest amount of dastardliness and more ruthlessness. :smartass:

I think they're a nice read if you're interested in the pragmatist mentality presented with stories and quotes.

They do kind of make me feel like if there's some kind of Toohey subculture out there tough. :ph34r:

(Even when none of their advice is as good as Toohy's for those with power-lust) :lol:

Edited by FrolicsomeQuipster
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I've also noticed that these people are invariably unhappy, cynical, bitter and have fucked up personal lives.

Sounds like fun eh? :smartass:

I thought so. Yeah well, since I didn't discuss it any further, I switched the subject before it got me nausea.

Redeeming, you should tell us more about your friend's father who recommended the book. What is he like?

Good question. I wouldn't know really. He doesn't seem to me like someone who abuses people. Maybe experience in his work made him realize at an older age, and now he is passing this onto his son, I don't know.

Read "The 48 Laws of Power" instead. Not for the pragmatism and cynicism it contains, but just to understand the mindset.

It is based on the teachings of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu etc. ( so it's bound to be a better read than something called "Becoming a Rat"), and it is at least in part aimed at helping the reader recognize and counter those tactics in other people. Plus it is full of historical tales and anecdotes that enrich your knowledge while keeping you relaxed and entertained.

P.S. One thing you shouldn't do, if you decide to read it, is focus on the "laws" themselves. Those seem pretty useless to me, especially to an Objectivist, but even for someone who would want to become an amoral political animal.

It's best to focus on the stories themselves, and draw your own conclusions from the historical and anecdotal concretes.

Thanks. It really sounds like an interesting read. And yes, it's absolutely bound to be a better read then becoming a rat, written by an author nobody has ever heard of.

That said, thanks for the responses everyone. I really think that uplifting these practices to an art is repulsive, even if its meant as some kind of joke. I think that if a manager comes on his position using these methods, his company will not survive for too long (things like morale and productivity will go down fast, and a manager only good at dirty tricks instead of actually managing the place won't help either).

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