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Predestination: At The Root Of The Win/Lose Ideology


According to the Robert, predestination is a religious doctrine according to which God destines certain creatures to salvation by the sole force of his grace and dooms the others (whatever they do) to damnation. This belief is shared by several Christian denominations, notably Calvinist and Jansenist.

These sects of Protestantism flourished and took root across the Atlantic where they greatly contributed to shaping the American mentality. Predestination implies an absence of control over the realization of one’s salvation. However, what we can control are the external signs that God has chosen us. This explains, among other things, why wealth and, a fortiori, work are important in the Protestant ethic. Material success can be one sign among others of our salvation.

The win/lose ideology, without being religious, takes up this idea. Moreover, it essentializes the individual: one is born a winner or a loser, in the same way that God chooses some people over others.
Predestination is in the background, it unconsciously dominates American society and all those where American culture is prevalent. In the panoply of the so-called “winner”, there are the attributes that one looks for in order to climb to the top of the social ladder: a competitive spirit, a certain dominating or even aggressive attitude, a manifest extroversion, a spirit of initiative, leadership, etc. This ideology imposes a mentality of competition, a spirit of initiative, a spirit of self-determination, a spirit of self-determination, etc.

This ideology imposes a fixed mindset as opposed to a growth mindset. Because it essentializes people, predestination forever disavows an individual, because if he or she was not chosen, he or she will indeed join the damned for eternity.
This logic is also found in the notion of winner/loser, where one has the impression that individuals are irretrievable unless they show strength and, above all, clear signs of belonging to the group of winners. This reasoning is used to great effect in the storytelling of people who have made their fortune despite coming from a modest background. Listening to them, one understands “I was a loser but in reality I wasn’t”, as if the seed of the winner was in them and that destiny wanted it that way. They could just as well have said “I was condemned to Hell, but in reality I was one of those who will go to Heaven, I just didn’t know it at first”.

Finally, this explains why the win/lose ideology is not so easily exported depending on whether or not our society of origin has a belief substrate equivalent to predestination (which exists in other forms in other cultures, etc.).

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