Demagoguery In Napoleon Hills Think And Grow

Introduction Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, and Anaxagoras (Ionian philosophers, 6th century B.C.) and other spent their lifetimes searching for a single substance or formula that would explain our changing universe. Likewise, mathematicians, astronomer, and physicists, such as Euclid, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Brahe, Kepler, Copernicus, Pascal, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Einstein, and others searched for constants of the universe by means of mathematical methods-by deductive and inductive reasoning. Scientists, based on axioms (self-evident truths), build models and equations that approximate and predict the regularities of the universe. Indeed, men of genius have confected some constants and universals truths that apply to the physical nature. But to speak of axioms, formulas, secret knowledge, and regularities about human nature and human behavior, is preposterous. Unique beings that we are, we each march to the beat of our own drums. So when someone tells you they have found the secret formula for success and wealth and they want to sell it to you, I feel an ache in the soul, for I know that is demagoguery. A demagogue is someone who prays on the weaknesses and prejudices of the gullible; and who isn’t vulnerable to wishing we could own such a secret. Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich This book that has sold in the millions is an example of demagoguery. Though Napoleon Hill (the author) is long gone, the book remains and is a good seller. The book makes a promise that anyone -yes, anyone-who reads the book can become rich; that the secret, "the magic formula," is there for anyone who is "ready for it." So, generation after generation go on reading this book and nowhere have I read, seen, or heard of anyone who can tell you what exactly that formula is. Napoleon Hill writes that the formula was given to him by Andrew Carnegie, and yet he took twenty years of his life to do research. Really? Why do research if the formula was given? Pray tell me. Kepler, Newton, Galileo, and Einstein found formulas and they shared with humanity. Even under duress and persecution they dared publish their scientific findings. Their formulas are in the public domain. Were Napoleon Hill a scientist –even a social scientist– we could see his formula in journals, articles, books–in the market place of ideas. But, no–such a formula is nowhere to be seen. It exists only in the kingdom of demagoguery. In some part of the book the author says: The major reason why I wrote this book on how to get money is the fact that millions of men and women are paralyzed with the fear of poverty. That statement defies credulity and it is disingenuous. The reason he wrote the book was to enrich himself by praying on people’s fears and deeply ingrained desire to be rich. This is the same gimmick we see every day in the internet–predators’ get rich quick scams. Shaking my head at the platitudes, commonplaces, and often downright nonsense that I find in Think and Grow Rich, I feel I could reach millions of people to lodge my protest. But instead of ending in further negative commentary, I will share some of my thoughts as to how we can work honestly at getting rich. Adam Smith’s Teachings To satisfy not only your needs, but also to have something leftover, you either sell your labor or you sell a product, or both. That is in essence what this great Scottish scholar taught. So, if you sell your labor, then your labor must be worthy, it must be sought, it must be valuable to employers. Training and education give workers the skills necessary for the labor market; the higher the skills the higher the compensation. The handyman in my building who used to earn a pittance is now earning high fees as a certified electrician. However, neither spiritual success nor material riches will accrue unless we work hard. A terrific nugget that I’ve always carried with me comes from Proverbs X: "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: "But the hand of the diligent maketh rich. Who can argue with that? If you’re lazy you’re bound to be poor; if you’re industrious you’ll be rich. Not to brag but to share my experiences, I can say that I owe my good fortune to Adam Smith’s insights: I learned valuable marketable skills, and I also learned to sell products. Yet nothing will be accomplished if one doesn’t save, for as Adam Smith said in his Wealth, "Capitals are increased by parsimony, and diminished by prodigality" (CH III., PT II). Of course, 90 per cent of the workers live by their skills, collecting paychecks for salaries or wages. About five per cent will develop entrepreneurial spirit and learn to create and sell products; the rest, four to five percent fill the ranks of the unemployed. Nothing prevents an individual from selling their skills and also selling products. One must choose. By having skills and selling products, I generate net income from which I pay all my monthly bills, with the surplus or leftover augmenting my net worth every month. Conclusion and tough love If you are curious enough buy Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, but expect nothing of value in return. If you are serious about getting ahead, then read an anthology where you can find Adam Smith’s writings about the "Division of Labor." The only formula for success is this: To satisfy not only your needs, but also to have something leftover, you either sell your labor or you sell a product, or both. That is in essence what the great Scottish scholar Adam Smith taught. This past summer and by accident I saw a former student of mine at a street fair. She was selling grilled corn on the cob. She is now in her second year of law school. With trembling sincerity in her voice she told me, "I never forgot what you taught me: ‘sell your skills and sell a product.’ I buy corn for a $0. 25 cents a head and I sell it for $3.00 each. This is paying for my tuition in law school." The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, so the language is –by today’s standards– a little stilted; however, the section on "Division of Labor" is fresh and contains a trove of wise insights. Reading these two or three pages will help you get your share of the American dream–and so move from roaches to riches, from the outhouse to the penthouse. 相关的主题文章: