Tagged: independence

On Being Liked

The dependent man tends to judge himself more highly to the extent that he is liked by others, and therefore feels a compelling vested interest in gaining approval, which is to say that he increasingly uses others’ acceptance of him as an emotional surrogate for the self-understanding that he lacks. This tendency naturally drives him ever farther from any considerations of the good,...

Standing Alone

The true individual is not he who speaks with the voice of his generation, including his generation’s officially sanctioned “outsiders club,” but rather he who speaks against his generation, and especially against the officially sanctioned outsiders club. To stand with one’s group requires neither courage nor thought. To stand against one’s group requires substantial quantities of both. The true visionary is not he...

Going for Broke

Theory of deficit spending.– At a certain point, irredeemable debt starts to feel irredeemable. From that point, every tether is cut. It is too late to repair the damage by correcting the trend, so psychological limits disintegrate. When one feels that one is adding quantities to infinity, what is the difference between two trillion and four trillion? Or seventy-five trillion, for that matter?...

Letting Go

The need to believe, once detached from all rational hope, becomes a dangerous breeding ground for many vicious and growth-stunting spiritual traps: confirmation bias, idolatry, paranoia, moral compromise, intellectual dependency — and ultimately cynicism, nihilism, and despair, as the disparity between what one needs to believe and what one increasingly realizes will never materialize becomes overwhelmingly obvious. Here is the solution to this...

Questions for Modern Political Life

If a Marxist calls you a fascist, should you care, let alone worry yourself about disproving the charge? (Likewise, for that matter, if an authoritarian populist or corporatist oligarch calls you a Marxist.) If someone criticizes your honest opinion on the grounds that it undermines “the movement,” is it more reasonable to defend your actions against that criticism, or to ask why the...

On Speech and Crowds

Twittering into tyranny.– The thrill of pith has been universalized, thereby infinitely diminishing the value, not to mention the standard, of pithiness. Today, men may become leaders of nations, or the favorites of millions, merely by saying “I hate them,” or “I love you,” at an opportune moment — particularly by saying it loudly, witlessly, and condescendingly. In such a universe, the man...

What Would A Man Do?

So inured have we become to our upside-down world, in which unfettered greed is the only moral law, and lust for material power and popular admiration the only understandable motives, that it has seemingly become difficult for many people even to recognize, let alone to appreciate the value of, actual manhood. Here, then, is a primer in how a man would think, if...

On the Desire for Recognition

A student recently sent me a short e-mail consisting almost entirely of this thought: “Desire for recognition from others, including co-workers, family, friends…I really hate this.” The topic is worthy of serious consideration. Let us take a moment to examine this strange but all-too-common tendency in humans, the “desire for recognition.” It is unlikely that human beings could ever completely numb themselves to...

The Rise and Fall of Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson, Canadian professor of clinical psychology cum politically incorrect lightening rod cum global celebrity self-help guru, has, unfortunately, fallen prey to the demons of fame, self-importance, and the sense of irrational urgency — “it has to be me, it has to be now” — that attends the sudden explosion of unexpected praise and mass admiration in the life of a thoughtful but...

On Not Preaching to the Reverted

I have nothing to say today about Roger Stone’s sentencing, or Donald Trump’s almost certain eventual presidential pardon of Stone, which he will issue for no reason other than because Stone is a Trump “strategist” (aka sycophant). Nor do I have any conjectures to make about Trump’s rehiring of a very young “loyalist” (aka bootlicking groupie) as head of the presidential personnel office,...