Crab Mentality (EP.37)


In an earlier podcast, 19 episodes ago, Obedience and Discipline, we looked at the valuable lessons we can learn from a Poodle. Today, we are doing to learn from crabs. Yes, crabs.

A single crab in a bucket or cooking pot can easily escape. If there is more than one crab in the container, the other crabs won’t let him out; they will pull at his legs making it impossible to exit. And we humans often do the same thing. And we are acting like crabs, modeling crab mentality, with increasing frequency and mounting negative consequences.

We are all familiar with the phrase that misery loves company. That’s frequently true, but there is more than just that going on here. If we have, for example, flunked a test, suffered a broken relationship or lost a job, there is a part of us that takes some comfort in not being the only one to suffer; not being the Lone Ranger. Misery can indeed love company.

But crab mentality is far more complex. Crab mentality promotes failure, rewards it, and punishes success. The Resenting Success podcast will add to this part of the discussion.

Specifically we have all seen the crab mentality reaction when someone from a group identified as oppressed supports successful people, and the concepts, e.g., personal responsibility, hard work and entrepreneurial capitalism that made those people successful. They are vilified, boycotted and accused of being traitors. By the way, traitors to what? Traitors to being unsuccessful? Are these people really being accused of turning their backs on the type of thinking that leads to failure and being accused of–yes, accused of –embracing thinking that leads to success. Yes, sadly, they are. Think about that; that is exactly–exactly–what is going on. In crab mentality thinking, no crab can be allowed to escape for fear that the other crabs will get ideas. What happened when Kanye West tried to leave the bucket? Or when it was discovered that a large number of women had voted Republican? He and they were scorned and criticised. And the disparaging comments were not based on facts and reasoning; they were focused on the inexcusable action of these people leaving the bucket. West, a black man, left the black, anti-Trump bucket. Boycott him. Women voting Republican were leaving the feminist, anti-Republican bucket. They must have been duped by the self-serving men in their lives.

Ben Carson, is Yale and Michigan Medical School grad. This famed neurosurgeon pioneered the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb, performed the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins, and developed new methods to treat brain-stem tumors. He became the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the country at age 33. Today, he is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development–HUD. But to those with crab mentality, Dr. Carlson, MD, who is black, is dismissed as an Uncle Tom for leaving the poor, black and fatherless at a young age bucket.

On a broader scale, people trying to leave the dependency bucket are being aggressively pulled back by those with crab mentality. Victimhood is a tool used by the crab mentality crowd. “You can’t leave the bucket” they say, “Don’t you know that victims can’t leave?” Their fear, their dread, is that is some crabs leave and others will see it and want to do the same. And the crab mentality crowd can’t have that; its leaders are preaching the truth and finality of victimhood, the inescapability of poverty, the permanence of an early poor education so that they, the crab mentality leaders, can lead lives filled with attention, approval and financial substance. The very things they seek to deny those in the bucket. And the saddest of all, are the crabs in the bucket who buy into this lie and stay there. We are humans, not crabs. We can get out. And help others to do the same. In turn, those we help will help others. And if we love our fellow humans, the other crabs in our buckets, we will do just that.

Think about this crab mentality self-serving world view the next time you watch the news. Or read a paper. Or hear about what is being taught in our schools. Or follow a political debate. We are being told that being in the bucket is not our fault. And that we can’t get out. And that those who put us there–and keep us there–are responsible for feeding, educating and otherwise taking care of those in bucket. That’s the deal; accept being in the bucket, agree with the crab mentality leaders, keep fellow crabs from getting out, and you will be taken care of. If you try to get out–or worse actually escape, you and your family will be hounded, vilified and accused of all manner of sins.

Jesse Jackson, the noted civil rights personality, famously said, “You may not be responsible for being down. But you are responsible for staying down.”  Exactly. In this, be like Jesse.

Two main tenets of the Revolution 2.0 belief set:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper.

If you are in the bucket, love yourself enough get out. And love others enough to help them to do the same. Like life, this is simple. Straightforward. Hard. Worth it.

Now, as always, please do contact me about anything. Respond in my Revolution 2.0 blog, email me at And I’m easy to find on iTunes, Google Play and the usual Bat Channels, including Twitter and Facebook.

It is time for our usual parting thought. For us at Revolution 2.0, it is not only change your thinking, change your life. It is change your thinking, change your actions, change the world. And if you can do it in love and enjoy the people around you at the same time, all the better. Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from the road.

Will Luden
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