(本館)  (トップ)  (分館)

Portal Site for Russellian in Japan

The Conquest of Happiness(松下彰良・訳)

Back Next  Part I(Causes of Unhappiness), Chap.3:Competition   Contents(総目次へ)
 '破産'の結果に関する,本物ではあるが'不合理な恐れ'という要素が,ビジネスマンの不安や心配事の中にしばしば入り込んでくることは認められなければならないだろう。アーノルド・ベネット(Enoch Arnold Bennett, 1867-1931)のクレイハンガーは,金持ちになったにもかかわらず,救貧院で死ぬことを(死ぬかも知れないと)恐れ続けた。子供時代を通して貧乏にひどく苦しんだ経験のある人は,わが子も同様に苦しむのではないかという恐怖にとりつかれ,この災害に対する砦(防波堤)として'十分な'お金をためることはほとんど不可能である,という気持ちになるのは,疑いもないことであろう。こういう恐怖は,たぶん一世代(自分の子供の世代)では避けがたいものかもしれないが,それらの恐怖が,一度もひどい貧乏を経験したことのない人々を苦しめることは,より少なくなりそうである。いずれにせよ,このような恐怖は,この(競争)問題の中では小さい,いくらか例外的な要素にすぎない。


* From Free animation library :http://www.animationlibrary.com/a-l/

I think it should be admitted that an element of genuine though irrational fear as to the consequences of ruin frequently enters into a businessman's anxieties. Arnold Bennett's Clayhanger, however rich he became, continued to be afraid of dying in the workhouse. I have no doubt that those who have suffered greatly through poverty in their childhood, are haunted by terrors lest their children should suffer similarly, and feel that it is hardly possible to build up enough millions as a bulwark against this disaster. Such fears are probably inevitable in the first generation, but they are less likely to afflict those who have never known great poverty. They are in any case a minor and somewhat exceptional factor in the problem.
The root of the trouble springs from too much emphasis upon competitive success as the main source of happiness. I do not deny that the feeling of success makes it easier to enjoy life. A painter, let us say, who has been obscure throughout his youth, is likely to become happier if his talent wins recognition. Nor do I deny that money, up to a certain point, is very capable of increasing happiness; beyond that point, I do not think it does so. What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient in happiness, and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain it.
The source of this trouble is the prevalent philosophy of life in business circles. In Europe, it is true, there are still other circles that have prestige. In some countries there is an aristocracy; in all there are the learned professions, and in all but a few of the smaller countries the army and the navy enjoy great respect. Now while it is true that there is a competitive element in success no matter what a man's profession may be, yet at the same time the kind of thing that is respected is not just success, but that excellence, whatever that may be, to which success has been due. A man of science may or may not make money; he is certainly not more respected if he does than if he does not. No one is surprised to find an eminent general or admiral poor; indeed, poverty in such circumstances is, in a sense, itself an honour. For these reasons, in Europe, the purely monetary competitive struggle is confined to certain circles, and those perhaps not the most influential or the most respected.
In America the matter is otherwise. The Services play too small a part in the national life for their standards to have any influence. As for the learned professions, no outsider can tell whether a doctor really knows much medicine, or whether a lawyer really knows much law, and it is therefore easier to judge of their merit by the income to be inferred from their standard of life. As for professors, they are the hired servants of businessmen, and as such will less respect than is accorded to them in older countries. The consequence of all this is that in America the professional man imitates the businessman, and does not constitute a separate type as he does in Europe. Throughout the well-to-do classes, therefore, there is nothing to mitigate the bare, undiluted fight for financial success.