11. 3. 2019

Stick to Your Enemies

During the communism times in Czechoslovakia, most of its citizens would drive a car which looked something like this:

It had no heating (though it used to get overheated very often). The car would feel like falling apart every second. However, for some reason, most of the Czechoslovaks were riding it. Why?

Does the reason dwell in the stupidity of Czechoslovaks? Were we dumb enough to deliberately buy a car which was terrible? Did we like it? No, and (hopefully) no and who knows. The reason was that they had no other choice. Of course, the problem was communist economics at a whole. However, for my purpose, I’d like to emphasize one specific part of the problem – the fact that this was the only one choice.

Might killing them be solution?

Communists didn’t like enemies, so they used to kill or jail them. This was evil and horrific. Also, pretty dumb. By eliminating all enemies and running interferences for their state-owned firms, they made the country worse off. To illustrate my point, think about writers for a moment. In a normal state, if you want to be a famous writer, you must be a hell of a good one. There are significant competition and only those who are on edge succeeds. This competition makes the authors spend thousands of hours writing each book, thinking about every word.

Now imagine your government banning all writers expect one. He is the only one who can write and sell books. Thus, if you want to read new books, you must buy this author. He knows very well that his books will be selling, so the rush of writing slips away. He doesn’t have to care about what he writes. After some time, the quality of most of his books will get down somewhere near zero. Many people will still be buying them because they have no other option. The question is: Is anyone getting better off at this moment?

The answer is no. The writer might get more money, but the motivation of his work is gone. The readers get poor quality books, and their life turns a bit more tedious. The book industry gets worse off because those who care about what they read, won’t buy this author. The economy of your country will suffer a loss. This censoring is what the communist did and do, in the name of equality. We all get worse books, and we all get worse off, so all of us gets equal. The case with a car is all the same.

There is no winner without a race

If the government allowed one more writer to publish his books, the rush of competition would return. They will fight for the readers and write the best they can. Books will be selling huge again, and you could read impressing stuff. However, still, there will be a large number of writers banned, unable to publish. If allowed to, they would become part of the competition, pushing the quality of books up. The point is: the race is what makes authors write impressing novels. The game is what makes the car industry produce beautiful, safe and cheap cars. The lack of competition is, on the other hand, what made Czechoslovaks ride unsafe, ugly and expensive cars.

The same goes for whatever you do – if you want to succeed, you must beat the competition. If you’d like to be a famous writer, you must write better than almost everyone. If you want to become rich selling cars, you must make them safer, fancier and more affordable than everyone else does. It’s not easy, but it’s right.Because of this, you know, when you succeed, that you did best. The feeling you have beaten the whole world must be worth this fight. Otherwise, why would anyone care?

The point is: stick close to your enemies – competitors.Their existence should be what keeps your blood astir. It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy. However, it’s worth it. Yes, you are going to fail sometimes. Someone better, someone who was working harder or more precisely, will beat your ass. Sometimes luck won’t be on your side, and you will fail. Be ready for this, because it is going to happen. Gain some inspiration from your failures, don’t lose your enthusiasm. The fact you failed doesn’t mean you did wrong. It says someone did even better. You must understand this difference; otherwise casual failures are going to hurt you big. The competition is not spare; it’s necessary.


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