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ARTICLE

"I'm for the Achiever!"

MARCH 01, 1973 by MILLER UPTON

I have just about reached the end of my tolerance for the way our society now seems to have sympathetic concern only for the misfit, the pervert, the drug addict, the drifter, the chronic criminal, the under-achiever. It seems to me we have lost touch with reality and become warped in our attachments.

I feel it is time for someone like me to stand up and say, in short, "I’m for the upperdog!"

I’m for the achiever — the one who sets out to do something and does it; the one who recognizes the problems and opportunities at hand, and endeavors to deal with them; the one who is successful at his immediate task because he is not worrying about someone else’s failings; the one who doesn’t consider it "square" to be constantly looking for more to do, who isn’t always rationalizing why he shouldn’t be doing what he is doing; the one, in short, who carries the work of his part of the world squarely on his shoulders.

It is important to recognize that the quality of any society is directly related to the quality of the individuals who make it up. Therefore, let us stop referring naively to  creating a "great" society. It is enough at this stage of our development to aspire to create a decent society. And to do so, our first task is to help each individual be decent unto himself and in his relationship with other individuals.

We will never create a good society, much less a great one, until individual excellence and achievement are not only respected but encouraged. That is why I am for the upperdog —the achiever, the succeeder.

—Miller Upton, President of Beloit College. 

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March 1973

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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