‘People’s narcissism. The natural way the mind, pressured by the cultural need for status along with a general fear of being without; lack of basic future security – will favor short-term “gains” at the expense of long-term progress.
Most people think they are socially conscious and aware. They like to believe that when they go to an activist rally or sign a petition they are doing something to progress things. But its mostly a cathartic illusion. Something that gives them tacit “approval” to go back to their narrow, self-interested narcissist ways. That is the cycle. This passive social poetry/activism placates the guilt of the individual as they merely return and progress their own shallow world.
99.99% of the public can’t see past their careers, their families, their egos, their image and hence their base need to be seen as a “success” in some way. And this very tendency is what most keeps the woes and negative trajectories of society in place as no one has the courage to go to the next level.
It is also what reduces people’s sense of compassion, for to care “too much” means to disturb one’s most core survival loyalties, running the risk of losing a competitive edge.
Today, especially since the 1960s in the West, people have turned inward, subscribing to the lopsided logic that they should only be for improving themselves, promoting themselves and securing stability only for themselves. And this will change the external. IE: Don’t change the world- change the way you see the world, is the logic. How many self-help groups and meditation groups and “life coach” type orgs do we have out there compared to orgs trying to make structural change in society? Probably a ratio of 1000:1. It’s deeply myopic.
Naturally, it is very hard to change ones self in a way that clashes with the incentives of the social structure since everyone is so oriented/rewarded by it. Survival in this system is contingent upon business success in some way, including the need for an attractive persona and reputation.
Culture persists to emphasize the very functions that keep things in peril and sick. Hyper-Individualism, Groupism, Egoism, Aspirational Vanity and this psychological game of Activist “Catharsis” – paralyses society by way of fear of future loss. This is why we can’t trust the general population to do anything to really help.
They are too hypnotized, preparing for their next photo shoot, business meeting, investment strategy, child’s play date, cooking class, therapy session, manicure, mole removal, breast enlargement, steroid fix, baldness treatment, club date, TV show viewing, shoe purchase, etc.’
Written by activist and movie maker Peter Joseph, as found on his Facebook page.