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Friday 14 April 2023

Need To Be Liked


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Why do so many otherwise intelligent people sacrifice their intelligence and reason in the face of nonsense again and again in our society today? John C. Wright has an idea,

"I have been puzzled for years how it is that so many otherwise wise and educated people can be Leftists; why so many otherwise compassionate people simply overlook the bloodthirsty enormities routinely perpetrated, applauded, excused, and rationalized by the Left, from prenatal infanticide to lauding Che and Castro and other butchers of men; why otherwise honest men approve of the Orwellian lies of Political Correctness, which corrupts both speech and thought; why so many otherwise good and faithful Christians routinely ignore Christian teaching and cling to the shibboleths of Political Correctness on any point where the two worldviews differ; why so many good people so routinely support, applaud, and encourage so blatantly vile an evil.

It is too obvious for the blindness to be anything but willful, and yet it does not seem to be willful, for who can will the destruction of themselves and all they hold dear? How is it possible for so many children of the most blessed, most powerful, most successful, most wealthy, most free, and most benevolent nation history has ever known to hate it? Why are the heirs of Western Civilization the enemies of Western Civilization?

The epiphany visited me in the space of a single hour, along the course of three conversations with honest men I happen to respect, despite our deep differences of opinion.

It was as if I suddenly could see clinging to the countenances of these otherwise honest and able men, the Facehugger from Alien which had been invisible up until that point, whose long proboscis entered their skulls through mouth and palate and shot poison into their brains. I wondered why they did not tear the Facehugger away, and breathe free.

Not to spoil the surprise ending, but the reason that exploded into my awareness like a bolt was this: they have nothing else. They leave the alien thing lodged in their brains, eating away their happiness, ruining their lives, spoiling friendships and darkening the light of heaven for the simple, tragic reason that without the alien thing, they would be lonely."[1]

I concur with this, but would just add, it's about wanting to be part of the "right" social group. People feel greater validation being part of the "right" group. To stand on what is true, what is bloody obvious and clearly true, in the face of onrushing insanity is harder if your greatest motivator is to be liked by those who hold those insane views, to be invited to the right dinner parties, to be recommended for the right jobs, the right promotions, and introduced to the right places of prominence.

A lot of people have this inherent desire to be liked, a need to be liked as The Office’s Michael Scott lampoons so well. But for many people it drives their moral compass, or more accurately it suppresses it. If your desire, more than anything, is to have a prominent place, or an accepted place, in the dominant hierarchy, you'll sacrifice all sorts of rationality, for what is essentially a rational goal in your mind: acceptance where you want to be accepted. To be accepted where you want to be accepted is not necessarily the same as being accepted where you should be accepted, with good and principled family and friends who will enhance your ability to stand for the truth. Some people, many people, want to be accepted into a group that affords them social, political, or career advancement, in spite of their principles. If you are like this, then you will surrender to any cause that threatens your ability for promotion or acceptance.

So, it’s not just about being lonely. It is about feeling lonely when you are not included in the "right" group, the accepted group.

To be able to stand for the truth you often need to be willing to burn bridges and have doors closed in your face. A lot of people cannot countenance the thought of doing this. But such is the way things are. If you are not willing to be scorned for the right reasons, when the pressure comes you'll fold. 


[1] Wright, John C..Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth (pp. 431-432). Still Waters Books. Kindle Edition.

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