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Is passionate resentment revealing?

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I was just listening to a lecture titled "Art in Education".

 

The context is discussing a child's admiration for a hero being put down by an adult: “Buck Rogers… Ha! He never gets any colds. Do you know any real people who never get them? Why you had a cold last week — so don’t you go on imagining that you’re better than the rest of us!”, I could summarize this as a "come down to earth attitude", which I'm sure many of you have experienced as children. Rand goes on to say that "If they actually regarded romanticism as an impractical fantasy, they would feel nothing but a friendly or indifferent amusement — not the passionate resentment and uncontrollable rage which they do feel and exhibit."

 

But is that true? I can think of when my parents would constantly tell me "you live in a fantasy world; you need to see the real world". I don't think it was a passionate resentment or uncontrollable rage. Maybe that was friendly, indifferent amusement? 

 

Also if something is regarded as an impractical fantasy it is more likely to elicit laughter, which may give off the impression of passionate resentment. 

 

There was an unrelated quote that I was curious about (in the context of repression): "when all other emotions are stifled, a single one takes over: fear."

 

Fear of what and why?

 

The only thing I can think of is fear of taking action because emotions help us narrow down our interests. If you feel nothing how do you know if you should be a lawyer, engineer or painter? If there is something that you think may elicit an emotion you need to fear it and find a way to avoid it. So you'll feel a fear of feeling more, which might be a fear of living?

 

 

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I never experienced that personally. Rand's criticism of this sort of thing is not new, she seems to be talking about what Nietzsche called ressentiment, a French term used by other philosophers as well.

 

Try this:

 

by Stephen Hicks. I don't think Hicks always gets Nietzsche right, but this is pretty good.

 

So, I think if a person was really indifferent, they'd be repeating a cliche or bromide and don't really mean it - which is bad for different reasons. If they really meant it, then it's resentment of the good. Something rooted in feeling inferior to others, taking personal failure and rationalizing it.

Edited by Eiuol
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Eiuol is right.  Such resentment stems from jealousy and fear which stem from a poor sense of self esteem.

 

"It is not fair they can achieve/do X, and I cant.  It must be corruption... or evil working in the world... or what they are achieving is stupid anyway.  Real men aren't smart and ethical... "

 

Small minded people.. and I do not want to stereo type but because of the connection between self-esteem and fear in the face of the struggle to survive, the spiritually weak are more susceptible to these things based on their socio-economic situation.   So you see resentment cropping up more in the stereotypical more "challenged" socioeconomic portions of society. I see this the same as the way sensitive people with  allergies might not thrive in a village full of cats and hay.  this is not so much a justification or excuse but an explanation.

 

"Who do you think you are with your fancy car."

"You think yer bettah than me?"

 

"Real men get drunk. Real men do physical labor.  White collar careers are cushy pencil pushing poindexterish and uppity ... I WORK for a living.  Thinking is stupid." 

 

An attitude of resentment that stems from lack of self-esteem and a misunderstanding of what matters to life on earth, i.e. what is moral. 

 

It is important to note I have observed the same kind of thing happening but in the opposite direction, a lack of esteem on the part of a white collar person causing him or her to refer to blue collar workers with disdain (and not just the small minded ones), revealing a guilt or defensiveness about their LACK of physical prowess or ability to fix things around the house etc. 

 

 

This is a very complicated subject with many aspects.  I think of it as hating the good for being good and pretending (through evasion) it is bad for whatever reason, but primarily lack of self esteem.

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I guess the fact that the idiotic postmodernist nuts are claiming Nietzsche as one of their heroes is another example of Dr. Peikoff's point that he has almost as many interpretations as readers given his all over the map, unsystematic, continental style.

Edited by Plasmatic
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LoBagola, this can be related to Ms. Rand's views on "the impotence of evil" which I think one needs to think carefully about....

Edit: LoBagola, passionate resentment is revealing but what it indicates depends on ones view of psycho-epistemology and the consistency thereof....

Ms. Rand said:

"A “selfless,” “disinterested” love is a contradiction in terms: it means that one is indifferent to that which one values."

Now integrate carefully....

Edited by Plasmatic
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I guess the fact that the idiotic postmodernist nuts are claiming Nietzsche as one of their heros is another example of Dr. Peikoff's point that he has almost as many interpretations as readers given his all over the map, unsystematic, continental style.

No, that's just a distortion of Nietzsche by postmodernists. He's not all over the map. I'm telling you, the topic here is just like ressentiment.

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Louie, have you listened to Peikoff's lecture on Nietzsche? Everything Ive read so far by Nietzsche confirms Dr. Peikoff's claims.

The similarity of this issue in the OP to ressentiment does not in any way mean that Nietzsche was consistent or less aphoristic and continental in style. The two premises are not mutually exclusive.

Edited by Plasmatic
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I was just listening to a lecture titled "Art in Education".

 

The context is discussing a child's admiration for a hero being put down by an adult: “Buck Rogers… Ha! He never gets any colds. Do you know any real people who never get them? Why you had a cold last week — so don’t you go on imagining that you’re better than the rest of us!”, I could summarize this as a "come down to earth attitude", which I'm sure many of you have experienced as children. Rand goes on to say that "If they actually regarded romanticism as an impractical fantasy, they would feel nothing but a friendly or indifferent amusement — not the passionate resentment and uncontrollable rage which they do feel and exhibit."

 

But is that true? I can think of when my parents would constantly tell me "you live in a fantasy world; you need to see the real world". I don't think it was a passionate resentment or uncontrollable rage. Maybe that was friendly, indifferent amusement? 

 

Also if something is regarded as an impractical fantasy it is more likely to elicit laughter, which may give off the impression of passionate resentment. 

 

There was an unrelated quote that I was curious about (in the context of repression): "when all other emotions are stifled, a single one takes over: fear."

 

Fear of what and why?

 

The only thing I can think of is fear of taking action because emotions help us narrow down our interests. If you feel nothing how do you know if you should be a lawyer, engineer or painter? If there is something that you think may elicit an emotion you need to fear it and find a way to avoid it. So you'll feel a fear of feeling more, which might be a fear of living?

 

I think the "come down to Earth" attitude may be different between your parents and Rand's example in the quote. A person can legitimately live in a fantasy world by not taking heed to the particular complexities of real life, or, as I think Eioul implied, it may just be your parents legitimately thinking that your worldview is unrealistic when it may be otherwise. Rand's example is in the context of a person directly addressing romantic art and trying to get a child to drop his interest in the idealized nature of it.

The psychology behind this has already been explained in this thread. The critiquing individual is attempting to attack the ideals the child wishes to hold because they fear their own abandonment of those ideals.

Also, I don't think outright laughter would be appropriate in this situation, mostly because of the complete lack of respect it implies for the mistaken valuer. That's why it would have to be "friendly or indifferent amusement."

Although, outright laughter may just be a person with poor social understanding or a deeply cynical view of others. I think Rand was speaking of the general populace, though.

 

 

As for your unrelated quote on fear, which probably isn't as unrelated as you think, I think you came closest with " If there is something that you think may elicit an emotion you need to fear it and find a way to avoid it."

Repression is essentially emotional evasion. One attempts to pretend, either for the sake of one's own or another's mind, that one's subconscious isn't feeding certain data to one's consciousness. What must follow, then, since one has no real direct control over one's subconscious, is that any sort of emotional information the subconscious feeds to one's consciousness is potentially dangerous. Repression makes enemies of the two parts of a person's mind. The subconscious is told its very method of functioning is bad or evil, which leaves it lost - which leads to fear, and the conscious mind, as you also stated, isn't fed any personal information about oneself.

Edited by Gramlich
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