Friday, October 20, 2006

Misanthropy I

Here's a post, with which I wholeheartedly agree. It appears the misanthropes are at it again, this time of the eco-maniac variety.

I sort of understand this misanthropy, where it comes from. It does not mean I sympathise. In fact, it's annoying, creepy, and indicative of a totalitarian mindset (mankind is not conforming to my beautiful IDEAL, and is therefore evil, hopeless, and worthless, and I will celebrate the day it is brought to its knees).

I've come up against the same attitude again and again. In fact, I'm going to have to invent or find a word to classify these recurrent themes which I encounter repeatedly in the thinking of others.

For example, just today on some random post about fads on an astronomy board, someone posted the following:

"You get blasted with carefully constructed psychological manipulation that promise the next piece of rubbish you buy will finally give meaning to your life. And because most people don't have any meaning in their lives, they are desperate enough to keep falling for it."

Because most people don't have any meaning in their lives. Oh no. Their lives are meaningless. Worthless. Plodding. Monotonous. Why, they go about buying things that amuse them, or please them, or that they think they "need" (a ridiculous notion, since purpose can only be derived from "meaning") without any consideration whatsoever to their grave offense to the observer's aesthetics.

They are desperate, you see? Desperate to find the "meaning" that conforming to the author's IDEAL can only provide. (They just never seem to realize it). Otherwise they would behave "properly", rather than in the intransigent manner that they do.

What condescending dreck!

Perhaps what I'm reacting to is a bit more than what these two examples let on, but I've seen a lot of aspects of this before. From eco-nazis to luddites to apocalyptic prophets of doom, to utopians, this same theme appears again and again. Look at most modern movies and their rank condescention towards the "common man". (Take the Matrix, for example.)

(PS, that's not to say I don't have my moments of depression/pessimism/misanthropy. And it's not to say I think people are perfect or that you can assume their natural goodness. Far from it. It's for things like this that you have to watch your back when dealing with human nature.)

The "sheeple" must be herded to greener pastures, otherwise they'll just stand there, doing whatever pleases them, and we can't have that, can we? It's often taken for granted that they will be herded by "evil" manipulators if they aren't herded by the "enlightened", "good" manipulators, that they have no volition or agency of their own, that their autonomous goals and desires aren't sufficient direction for their lives ("meaningless", "purposeless", "hopeless", "graceless"), or are irrelevant to the Real Important Things.

All I can say is that, when you see this pattern manifesting, reach for your philosophical/political/moral wallet, you're being had.


Anonymous Gordon said...

Thanks for your comment on AeroGo, I left a reply there. Hopefully things will be back on track soon.

Monday, October 30, 2006 5:43:00 PM  

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