If you wish to avoid conflict, never attempt to damage, defraud, defame, debunk, or deprive a person of that which they hold most dear. Sadly, when two individuals have inherently conflicting desires, conflict is inevitable.
Before I get into this, I must explain what I mean by “love.” The Ancient Greeks had several words for love, specifically, eros, agapé, filia, and sturgé. It is the first of these to which I am referring, partly because it is that which I am most familiar. In addition to being the best known, with the god Eros named for it, the Greek predecessor of Cupid, it is one of only two I have actually experienced (the other being sturgé), and I have dealt with it a great deal more than the other. To lay my proverbial cards on the table (something I always try to do as early as possible, to clear away any misconceptions), I have never been “in love,” unless you count the metaphorical one-way street colloquially known as the “crush.” I have been on both sides of plenty of those, to the point where I can definitely say that I adhere to the female stereotype of “women lust after what they cannot get and hate what’s offered on a plate.” This, by the way, is one of the many contributing factors to an untreated mental illness that I suffer from called gender dysphoria, but that’s a rant for another time.
Eros is not simply a romantic infatuation, it is a powerful obsession, not necessarily directed toward another person. One can be obsessed with an object (men and their cars, for instance), or an idea. A narcissist, for instance, is obsessed with one’s own image, if not in the literal sense as Narcissus was in the old myth, then in the abstract sense, as those who have a habit of moral grand-standing (“virtue signalling” in the modern vernacular). It is this obsession that explains the apparent paradox that narcissists have very high opinions of themselves, yet appear so insecure; it is not that they are thin-skinned, per se, but compulsively defensive. For the same reason one should not insult someone’s lover, one should not insult a narcissist if one wishes to avoid conflict.
There are many common obsessions that are well-documented, and they produce easily observable activity in the brain. Studies have repeatedly shown that the same areas of the brain are active when an individual is consuming drugs, engaging in sexual intercourse, having a spiritual experience, or seeing their content go viral on social media. In every single case, this positive feedback is a large influx of dopamine. Deprive any individual of their favourite substance, sexual partner, religion, or social media account, and the result will be the same – the tell-tale symptoms of withdrawal. The same is true of those who are in love with an idea, i.e. ideologues.
You may have seen me use the phrase “ideological method” in the past. The ideological method is a system of apologetics designed to support an idea that cannot stand on its own merit; it is, in essence, the opposite of the scientific method. At a time when the greatest opponent to science was Christianity, these apologetics were known as the “creationist method,” though the same exact types of fallacious arguments can be used to support nearly any ideology that comes into conflict with science. Calling such apologetics “creationist” is to ignore every conflict between ideology and science other than creationism versus the Theory of Evolution. All ideologues do exactly as creationists do: they start with a conclusion, then look for evidence that supports it, twisting, dismissing, or outright ignoring any data that is inconvenient to their idea. This is the logical fallacy known as cherry-picking, or as I like to call it, “painting bulls-eyes around arrows.” Though it may be the bedrock of the ideological method, it is not the only logical fallacy that the ideological method uses; all of them are employed at one stage of debate or another, usually ending with ad hominem fallacies and even attacks, as a quote commonly attributed to Socrates goes, “when the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
It is quite common for ideologues to be narcissists, as narcissists are usually obsessed with always being right. To use the scientific method is to accept the possibility that you may be wrong, and may have to change your mind; your own idea may prove to be inferior to someone else’s. To use the ideological method, on the other hand, is to never have to admit to any failings, and to trivialise or simply ignore any mistakes. I would posit that narcissists only ever admit to the tiniest of mistakes for the purpose of feigning humility. The self-flagellation, both literal and metaphorical, that religious zealots frequently engage in, is the reason that religion is sometimes said to be “arrogance masquerading as humility.” To this, I say “there is no greater hypocrisy than to gloat about being humble.” I have, believe it or not, met someone who once boasted to me that he was “very talented and humble.” Such praise, of course, doesn’t work unless it comes from someone else.
On rare occasion, ideologues will find themselves faced with overwhelming evidence that their ideology is completely wrong. This frequently occurs after many attempts to defend it, as failure is virtually inevitable. Like a pair of lovers who keep trying to make their relationship work, despite overwhelming evidence that they are completely incompatible (usually this is a one-way street, rather than a mutual effort), a crisis occurs, and the feeling of infatuation transmogrifies into animosity with remarkable speed. The best ideological example I can think of is the crisis experienced by nearly every YouTube atheist. I have noticed that, with only one or two exceptions, atheist YouTubers were all religious at one point, and the more religious they were in the past, the more anti-religious they are at present, with the two most extreme being a former Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness. In other words, while they may have abandoned their religion, they have not abandoned their religious thinking. Sadly, it is because such vitriolic YouTube personalities are the public face of atheism that many Christians see atheism as a religion itself. It is also for this very reason that I tend to get along with Christians far better than with my fellow atheists; it is a similar sentiment to the reason I mentioned in a previous post about getting along better with conservatives than with fellow “liberals,” most of whom aren’t actually liberal.
It is, perhaps, a roundabout way of returning to the topic of people as the objects of obsession, rather than ideas, but I should mention that one need not experience a romantic attraction toward an individual in order to see that person as “perfect” in one sense or another. Ideologues, quite frequently, consider the founder of their ideology to be infallible. For the religious zealot, that individual is a prophet and/or a deity. For the secular ideologue, that individual is usually the philosopher credited with creating the movement that the ideologue in question is part of. Yet, this worship of another person is not limited to someone in a perceived state of superiority to the individual afflicted with the obsession. Child worship, after all, is a rather similar form of obsession. Once again, there is a great overlap with narcissism in such cases, as narcissistic parents consider their children to be just as infallible as they are (flawed offspring means a flawed progenitor, after all), and their parenting methods to be perfect. This, unfortunately, requires total compliance on the part of the children, as any child who does not act exactly as the narcissistic parent desires cannot be perfect. Children are thus reduced to dolls, playthings for the amusement of the parents, rather than independent individuals to be nurtured into discovering their own character and lot in life. To the parent, the child’s only value is that of pleasing and validating the parent; the child’s true happiness is of no concern, though it can be used as an emotional cudgel to brow-beat children who are defiant in any way. Children who are raised in such an abusive manner usually end up emotionally stunted.
About two weeks has passed since I wrote everything up to this point. Since that time, I have actually shared a portion of this writing on Hive, and begun a rather deep dive into this topic. What I have learned thus far has been rather interesting, yet now I find myself having to come up for air and returning to my usual work, as it were. I have finished all the components for the airship Iron Rose, and have assembled an early version, representing the original configuration of the ship. I intend to assemble the modern configuration, as it appears at the time of The Nine Empires, in a video similar to the construction video of the Zaphnora that I made a year and a fortnight ago. I had that all ready to go last night, but my recording anxiety got hold of me, as usual, and rather than recording it at about 21:00 and then going to bed, probably about an hour later, I found myself staying up until 2:00 working on translating one of my old articles about steampunk airships into Russian, a task made rather tedious by a number of different factors (and I’m not even done yet). So, why bring this up in an article about narcissism? Well, I may find my endeavour to make the video in question delayed indefinitely, given that, when one lives with a narcissist, taking care of their vacuous needs must be a priority for a tranquil existence, however soul-crushing that tranquility may be. I wish I didn’t, considering that my work-in-progress was rather well-liked, and I’ve already left the Hive hanging for long enough.
Regarding what I have learned, on the other hand, it is important to return to the subject of the ideologue and the notion that an idea can be infallible. I must clarify that, in this context, the term “ideologue” has a much more specific meaning here than usual. Not all who employ the ideological method are ideologues. Most, in fact, have been deceived into believing and defending a bad idea for one reason or another; these are the midwits, narcissistic individuals with an I.Q. somewhere between 110 and 125 (mine is 155, if anyone is curious) who seem to think that they know everything, and yet have no ideas of their own. Midwits are the well-behaved, straight-A students (not that I’m denigrating academic excellence, I had a 4.0 GPA in college) that are able to memorise and regurgitate all the “correct” answers. For those of us who were home-schooled for academic reasons, we like to call such teacher-pleasers “pleasantly gifted.” Midwits are those who can be duped into not only believing a dumb idea, but also into performing admittedly impressive mental gymnastics to defend it. True ideologues, on the other hand, are the ones who propagate and, sometimes, even invent the bad idea to begin with, in either case because they stand to benefit in some way from it. Everything that I have said throughout this article definitely applies to true ideologues, though much of it applies to midwits as well. To reiterate, not all who use the ideological method are ideologues, just as not all who use the scientific method are scientists.
At some point in the near future, I’m going to resume writing opinion pieces. However, in the interest of keeping both my word and the sanctity of this particular blog, I’m going to start yet another blog and post my opinion pieces there. My tactics, however, are going to be vastly different, as I’m no longer interested in trying to appear neutral in the name of persuading other people to calm their tits and examine a nuanced position. I’m doing it already, but my new tactic will be to lay on thick sarcasm in the hope of making all the ideologues and midwits alike look as foolish as possible. At this point, I no longer care about winning hearts and minds, because a narcissist’s heart belongs only to themself. If “peace was never an option,” as the midwits who defend the current Great Authoritarian Grift (GAG) like to say, then unrestricted verbal evisceration shall commence, and perhaps some will find my cathartic criticism to be entertaining.
I find myself at a loss as to how I should conclude this. I have been mulling this idea over in my head for a few days now. Were it not a month ago (as I’m writing the original portion of the article, not necessarily publishing it), I could have made it a “melancholy Valentine’s Day musing.” Then again, my nonexistent love life, which I find myself lamenting with frustratingly increasing frequency (poll: should Kaja sign up for online dating?), is not what inspired this article in the first place. Seriously, I don’t want to have such feelings; for those of us who don’t want children, there is no logical reason to desire a romantic relationship. On the other hand, I’m extremely lonely, and I want a life other than constantly bouncing back and forth between my parents and taking care of them forever, which is my only other option, seeing as they’ve succeeded in cultivating a co-dependent relationship, such that I remain financially shackled. Perhaps, if I enjoyed taking care of them, I wouldn’t mind, but my adoptive mother is a textbook example of an abusive parent (to a lesser extent, an abusive spouse as well), so her company is simply loads of fun, and there is nothing I enjoy more than being her personal chef, landscaper, and pull-string toy, all while listening to her piss and moan about how she’s been oh-so-put-upon since childhood for the millionth time. There is nothing more pathetic than a bitch who can’t move on.
No, I wasn’t drunk when I wrote any of this.