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Greed vs. Arrogance

[1]2,120 words

Greed: “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”

Arrogance: “an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people.”

Greed: It’s one of the seven deadly sins. In the fourth circle of Hell, Dante and Virgil contemplated the souls who were being punished for this particular sin, which included some popes. These days, however, kvetching about “greed” tends to be more of a Left-wing pastime. “Greed” has gone the metapolitical route of “hate,” “our democracy,” “diversity,” and “privilege” — as in “white privilege” twisted beyond recognition, used primarily to stigmatize people with the “racism that’s still part of our [oops, I mean white people’s] DNA,” as the underprivileged President Barack Obama [2] so eloquently put it. “White privilege”? Well, that’s shorthand for our “intense, selfish desire” to hoard the vast, undeserved assets bequeathed by the occult power of “whiteness” — “wealth, power, or food” . . . or safe neighborhoods and higher ACT/SAT scores. Greed: Why else would most white people be so unfairly resistant to reparations for black people?

I have met very few people in my life whom I recall as greedy — genuinely, voraciously greedy — so I’ll put “greed” aside for the time being. I’m thinking more these days about the insufferable arrogance that attaches itself to so many Left-wingers. As one who is watching anti-white wokeism sweeping across the land like a Kansas wildfire, I am struck by how arrogance seems to seize and envelope these angry, blustering morality-enforcers.

Remarkable and lamentable in my opinion is that more attention, discussion, and commentary are not given to this wretched corruption of the human personality. No one likes an arrogant person. Yet, there are so many of them in so many places, particularly in the opinion-shaping enterprises — the mainstream media, universities, politics –, that are now seemingly infested by hectoring, self-righteous ignoramuses.

Arrogance can be more easily born if there is at least some justification for it. Spectacular genius, immense productivity, and rare talent can make arrogance in the bearer tolerable and somewhat forgivable. At least you get something in return for someone’s condescension, haughtiness, and contempt that must be endured. In individuals whose accomplishments and talents are unremarkable or imaginary — think of “white-guilt” princess Robin DiAngelo [3] — it is insupportable and infuriating.

Arrogance, if you will, is a kind of epistemological malfunction caused by errant beliefs about one’s own capacities and stature and how reverently others ought to regard them. People become arrogant, I suspect, because they come to believe the self-esteem-bolstering fairy tales they are told about themselves. These delusional convictions are instilled in those the nobodies who puff themselves up and act morally superior — a typical graduate of a Women’s or African American Studies program, perhaps — by their fellow-nobodies: their teachers, professors, friends, and associates, all of whom contribute to the development of this personality deformity that is so characteristic of SJWs.

With the “somebodies” — the Hollywood vulgarians, multi-millionaire athletes, and politicians –it’s their professional agents and publicists, camp followers, ass-kissers, and favor-seekers. At some point, early or late, they come to imagine that they are special — more talented, intelligent, gifted, and pure than anyone else in the world. Because they shine brightly and stand far above all others, they claim exemption from the annoying norms, customs, and expectations that govern the lives of lesser beings. “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes,” as billioniare Leona Helmsley [4] was reportedly overheard saying by her housekeeper. Or, perhaps, Hillary Clinton [5] on being questioned for the Benghazi debacle that happened under her watch: “What difference at this point does it make?” Translation: “How dare you suggest I should be held accountable for my actions? Have you forgotten who I am?”

[6]

You can buy Stephen Paul Foster’s new novel When Harry Met Sally here. [7]

Arrogance comes in different forms. There is the arrogance of power. Power, like alcohol, intoxicates and distorts the judgement. Like the drunk behind the wheel of his car who cannot perceive his own (temporary) impairment and unfitness to manage the basics of driving and the resulting danger, the arrogantly powerful man cannot seem to grasp the reality of his own human limitations and shortcomings and consider the feelings, opinions, and legitimate interests of other people. Two words — “Monica Lewinsky” — speak to the arrogance of power in one of the more astonishingly reckless spectacles that have ever risen to a national level of attention and entertainment. For whatever it was that he took away and treasured from his encounters with the chubby White House intern, this dalliance got Mr. Clinton, who was widely popular at the time, impeached. He publicly humiliated his wife and daughter and permanently soiled his reputation. He became the butt of countless joke and fueled the lewd antics of the late-night television jesters. Only arrogance can explain such reckless and inexplicable conduct.

There is also an arrogance of talent. Like power, it fuels stupidity. The arrogantly talented person fails to comprehend that most talent comes via lottery — a genetic lottery. Think of some obnoxious, cognitively limited professional athlete like LeBron James. Rather than appreciating the good fortune transmitted through his genes, arrogance takes charge. Impairing his primitive judgment faculty, it stimulates outbursts of billingsgate with the distinctive style of “the hood [8],” i.e. the ravings of illiterate, black males. Incapable of humbly and thankfully putting his narrowly specialized talent into a proper perspective and acting like a civilized human being, his arrogance, fueled by mindless, sports celebrity worship, makes him think that his crudely-expressed opinions on matters which he only dimly understands deserve serious attention.

Consider, however, intellectual arrogance, the arrogance of those with somewhat more sophisticated vocabularies than the NFL/NBA wife-beaters or the Hollywood idiots. These are the ones who believe that they know more and understand better than anyone else. Intellectually arrogant people are the worst of them all. Why? Talented, arrogant people usually focus on themselves. They are, in their own estimation, special and unique. They just want and need to be treated differently: adulation, constant attention, special entitlements, and heightened consideration. They can be ignored, at least some of the time.

Intellectually arrogant people, however, want to manage other people’s lives because they believe they know what is best not just for themselves but for everyone. They know what you should eat, drink, smoke, and drive. The prince of intellectual arrogance was Barack Obama [9], who must have believed Newsweek editor Evan Thomas [10] when he proclaimed him “sort of God above us.” Thus: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say okay. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.” It was always advisable to pay attention to the seemingly innocuous pronouns Obama would slip past you — “We can’t drive . . .” — when he was really saying “you can’t drive…” and so on.

Worst of all, these self-infatuated “knowers” like the ex-President are intent on ordering your thoughts. Those who eschew the mandatory grammar that signals woke-conformity are bad thinkers, and for “bad thinking,” struggle sessions, groveling, social ostracism, job and career nullification, and worse are the future.

Intellectual arrogance is the apex of arrogance because it culminates with a desire and compulsion to make everyone be what they are supposed to be according to the blueprint that they, the superior knowers, have either intuited or been told by one of the other acknowledged superiors that it’s the last word. That the blueprint might be defective or flawed never occurs to them. When intellectually arrogant people acquire power (arrogance of power plus intellectual arrogance), the result is the kind of disaster we now experience raining down upon us. This is our ruling class: a cadre of self-proclaimed, arrogant know-it-alls in the business of turning us into imperfect images of themselves by whatever means necessary.

They demand that we celebrate their wise counsel, thank them for their benevolence, and comply enthusiastically with every new whim they conceive. They worship themselves and require worship from us, which is why they will never leave us in peace. Try going away: They will pursue you. We don’t need them, but they desperately need us. We make them feel morally superior. Their raison d’etre is to subject the “morally inferior” in their crosshairs to constant improvement. Think of the tens of millions of people throughout the twentieth century who have lived in the classless, socialist workers’ paradises ruled by the superior knowers. For them, to attempt to leave was a life-risking decision.

Of course, the professional know-it-alls don’t know nearly as much as they think they do, and when things fail to work out as they had predicted, they always find someone else to blame, never themselves. From the delusion of omniscience comes the desire for omnipotence. For these superior knowers to admit to being wrong would mean that they would have to relinquish that coveted, unlimited power over the lives of others and to be accountable for shortcomings that they can never admit having.

The great crimes and ravages of the twentieth century are largely the work of intellectually arrogant men, the supreme knowers who are lethally overconfident: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot. They thought their special knowledge entitled them to a kind of power over others no one else had ever had. “Unlimited power above all law [11],” as Lenin would have it for his own Bolsheviks. The knowers would sweep away the old, corrupt order.

Mao spoke of the “four olds”: old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas that he wanted all of China to be done with. He transmitted his own astonishing arrogance to his young Red Guard to make it happen by violence and force. The “old” was made and maintained by the unenlightened. The elimination in China of the “four olds” gave way to the three C’s — corruption, collusion, and coercion – which are the essential, defining features of every Communist dictatorship. Mao’s Little Red Book “wisdom” from the beginning was a kind of insanity born of his intellectual arrogance.

Twenty-first century Maoism is sweeping the land, our own “four olds” under attack because they are contaminated by “racism” and “white privilege.” The “enemies” of the Chinese Maoists were “capitalist roaders” and “bourgeoise reactionaries.” Chairman Biden’s enemies are “anti-vaxxers,” “White Nationalists,” and, of course, “racists.” Maoism of any species does not function without fictional “enemies of the people” to be pursued and destroyed.

Following the script, our “four olds” have given way to the three Cs. Corruption? The Biden family, congressional insider trading, election rigging, and political nepotism. Collusion? The mainstream media, Anthony Fauci, the CDC, Big Pharma, and the social media moguls. Coercion? Mask and vaccine mandates, social media censorship, economic lockdowns, taxed-wealth transfer to criminal enterprises like Black Lives Matter, and anti-white, Andrey Vyshinsky [12]-style show trials: Derek Chauvin, Charlottesville (Sinnes v. Kessler), the Ahmaud Arbery trial defendants, and Kyle Rittenhouse.

These defendants were white men, denounced as “White Nationalists,” aka “enemies of the people,” starting with the President and his minions and followed by cable-television talking heads and the rest of the mainstream media’s Pravda-like howling hysterically in indignation and condemnation, catering to the mobs. No fair trial could ever be conducted with the deluge of vilification, threats, and intimidation hanging over the courtrooms unleashed by powerful institutional representatives who in a different age would have felt obligated to remain neutral. That Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted has to be an anomaly that “our betters” will never allow to be repeated.

When our Mummy-in-Chief reaches room temperature, there unfortunately appears to be no Deng Xiaoping waiting in the wings to attempt a rollback of the mass insanity. Who will take charge, step up, and arrest our “Gang of Four” — Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, and Tony Fauci — or any of the other assorted oligarch-kleptocrats currently ruling over us, now openly agitating against the white population and pushing the country closer to the edge?

The apotheosis of the felon George Floyd led into the show-trials of 2021 and have made it a watershed year in American history. In a recent Taki’s Magazine [13] column, the Z Man wrote:

The proper way to view these trials is as part of the general campaign of menticide being waged against the American people. It is a society-wide effort to break our attachment to our habits of mind.

“Menticide” is a perfect word to describe the warfare that is underway. The corruption of language, the moralization of personal grievances, and the capricious and arbitrary application of social norms and rules are an assault on our stabilizing “habits of mind.” Every conceivable method on our part must be made to resist this destruction. The rule of law has collapsed; we are on our own.

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