Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

"I get screwed by the man so it is ok for me to screw other people" - what are your thoughts on this mindset?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) July 27th, 2010

Another question made me think of this. I often hear people justifying their behavior (my ex-husband among them) based on the fact that they have been mistreated by others. They are justified in taking office supplies from work because their employer takes advantage of them. They are justified tossing their trash out the window of their car because they are forced to pay city taxes. These are the folks who can justify almost any misbehavior based on the mistreatment they have endured and of course they perceive anything that doesn’t go their way as a purposeful mistreatment. What is your take on this mindset?

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21 Answers

SheWasAll_'s avatar

Employees stealing office supplies from their workplace is the most common and most costly form of white collar/corporate crime. Not good. And this is mindset is even a theory as to why states with the death penalty have equal or higher rates of homicide than states without the death penalty. “If the government can kill people, why can’t I?” It’s bad news bears all around because it can snowball out of control. But I’d be lying if I said I never though like this…

TexasDude's avatar

Ever hear the phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right?”

ratboy's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard: perhaps you’re correct, but three lefts do make a right.

As for the mindset, I find it both courageous and admirable.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a lot of choice words most I know I should not post…ignorant, selfish, lazy and bitter are a few other that come to mind.

lillycoyote's avatar

I think everyone has his or her own moral compass, his or her own moral and ethical system and standards. Perhaps some people are just bad, for whatever reason, and don’t really find the need to justify what they do and others perhaps need to justify, rationalize the bad things they do in ways like that, convincing themselves that because they have been screwed over it is o.k, to screw over other people, whether they really have been or they just have that perception,. Anyway, some things are right and some things are wrong. I’m no saint, I do do things that I know are not right sometimes, but at least Iknow that I am doing something wrong. I don’t make excuses.

SeventhSense's avatar

No. If I get screwed by the man, then I screw the man (figuratively speaking of course :)), not others.

Austinlad's avatar

Does screwing somebody somebody back make you feel better… or change anything? Not in my experience.

marinelife's avatar

It is a lack of personal responsibility. Obviously, nothing anyone else does to you justifies you doing something that you know is wrong.

SeventhSense's avatar

OK primadonnas get real. I know you’re all not Mary Poppins and Mr Rogers. We all break the rules, we all hurt other people and we all unknowingly cause harm. Except you of course

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s only ok if you find the actual “man”. Where does he live, by the way?

woodcutter's avatar

is it sentiment of white trash? or am I thinking about something else?

truecomedian's avatar

I think your asking a totally silly person, I have burnt myself out on Fluther today, think I may have pissed some people off. I read your question and thought that you’re actually asking something totally different than what you wrote down. I think you are talking about human nature and how there is also an animal nature that’s a part of us. This animal nature makes us do these “wrong” things. I think you might be frustrated because you need to give into your animal nature and just say “fuck it” sometime. Your probably angry because you been doing the “right” thing, and it seems that these jack asses that seem to not care about anything are getting all the breaks. Whew, I am so off base, Im sorry for writing this.

perspicacious's avatar

Your actual question is senseless unless you are 10. The secondary questions simply refer to the mindset of ignorant classless idiots. They will always be among us.

truecomedian's avatar

Wait a minute, your taking the minority, and trying to say it’s the majority. That’s all. Most people are good.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I don’t like that mindset one bit, it’s childish, and not conducive to a better society. If everyone had this attitude, imagine what chaos would be going on.

SuperMouse's avatar

@perspicacious interesting perspective, but I have encountered many people with this mindset.

@truecomedian I am not suggesting that folks who think this way are in the majority. I am asking for opinions on this type of mindset. I am not at all angry that I do the right thing. I do so precisely because it is the right thing. I have seen many jack asses get breaks; I have also seen many getting exactly what they deserve.

For the record, the attitude in the question by the young man who stole from his employer and justified it because it was a big, profitable company that has a reputation for taking advantage of employees and suppliers is what motivated this question.

truecomedian's avatar

How do I respond if I don’t know what’s going on. I’m confused.

SeventhSense's avatar

Destroying the environment by dumping gallons of waste in the river, beating up your wife because Dad beat you, stealing reams of paper and computers from the office seem excessive and unjustified.

Leaving the office with a pen, failing to claim the birthday gift to Aunt Agnes on your taxes or flicking a cigarette butt or candy wrapper out of the window…well?
Not the minority but rather these are the majority of society. It depends on where one draws the line. These judgment questions always seem questionable to me and always hint at a deeper issue. Namely that which would make someone better, morally superior, high class etc. We all know stealing, littering and hurtful behavior is wrong but some just want to be sure they are on the right side of some imaginary line. A line which is highly arbitrary dependent upon circumstances.

mattbrowne's avatar

This mindset should sleep on it before taking action.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t like this mindset – there is nothing courageous about it, that’s for sure. I find that people scapegoat the ‘man has victimized me’ paradigm when, in reality, they have no clue how they’re actually being taken advantage of and how their actions contribute to what is going on around them and how they’re a part of ‘the man’.

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