Ideologues (part 6) Conceit; Vanity

One of the most telling, most damning traits of the ideologue is conceit; vanity. Conceit is defined by the dictionary as ‘excessive pride in oneself’…

Principally defined however, conceit is or can be described as a hostile outlook and/or feelings of aggression one experiences towards external values they either deem to be inferior to them, or that they feel threatened by due to the perceived value’s failure to edify and reinforce their own status beliefs — that is, their own senses of authority…

These feelings typically manifest in the forms of attitudes, actions and behaviors that seek to devalue perceived external phenomena, in ways such as marginalizing, dismissing, intimidation, physical or verbal assault, censoring, suppressing, interrupting, and various other forms of violence…

Simply put, conceit is the assumption that “others” (individuals and external values) are inherently inferior to self and what one views as or takes on authority, or must BE MADE inferior to self and what one views as authority…

If summed into a statement, conceit would be: “I am superior to and deserving of considerations, comforts and rewards (that is, the “right to consume from society”) ahead of you. My sovereign authority, and all that imbues me with it, makes me inherently more valuable than you, and I expect you to recognize and yield to my authority in every way.”

This is the outlook of conceit. This is the outlook of vanity, the basis of the authoritarian-mode of thinking.

“I am qualified to devalue and dismiss things because authority makes me superior to them…”

The great paradox of conceit is that it views all things that don’t yield to or edify it as being conceited, arrogant and vain. Perceptive valuation, especially the authoritarian-subset cannot fundamentally distinguish the difference between ability and belief; between mechanism and speculation. Therefore, more often than not, the ideologue confuses status beliefs for capability, and in so, elevates their beliefs to the level of truth and reality for all things.

More often than not, this propensity causes ideologues to speak and think in edicts — that is, to say ‘how things are’ based on their own personal views and assessments, while failing to recognize their beliefs are not truth and reality for all things. The assumption that ‘everything that doesn’t agree with me must be wrong’ is fundamentally conceited, and as such, ideologues attempt to “punish” all things that don’t agree with them.

The ideologue is unfoundedly proud. Typically speaking, they tend to remain ignorant of reality because they’re blinded by status beliefs and views of and hopes to acquire authority. Conceit is the basis for all forms of cognitive bias. Cognitive bias results in the phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘cognitive dissonance’, which is an inability to reconcile reality by way of experience, as a result of experiences conflicting with beliefs rooted in authority.

If summed into a statement, all cognitive biases would be this: “What I’m witnessing doesn’t make sense to me because it doesn’t fit with or conform to my beliefs and expectations — that is, the things I’ve learned and believe to be true. Information and reality can ONLY make sense when and if they agree with me.”

Again, reliance on the authoritarian-mode of processing information and reality causes the mind to weaken, and the dynamic thought process to atrophy as a result of not being properly engaged and stimulated. Its fundamentally no different than having weak legs as a result of not using them fully. Imagine only doing seated calve raises, but never walking or running. The legs would be strong in one way, but weak in all the ways that really counted…

The ideologue’s sense of pride isn’t really rooted in capability or understanding, but instead, is based primarily on what they perceive to be their connection to authority. In other words, ideologues experience feelings of value for simply being connected to sources of authority, which ultimately serve to enhance their own feelings of authority — that is, their own status beliefs.

And these connections don’t even have to be deep or fundamentally sound…

For instance, a person calling themselves a Christian can simply claim to be Christian on the merit of the word alone, without ever having read the bible or doing any work towards developing their understanding for Christianity (or Jesus); and yet STILL FEEL ENTITLED to the rewards of the Christian afterlife, for simply claiming the word represents them.

Its fundamentally no different than a person feeling pride and a sense of accomplishment and superiority whenever their favorite sports team or hero wins a match that they themselves had no hand in contributing to. “I’m better than you because something I self-identify with and/or view as an extension of myself captured authority and this necessarily enhances my own authority. I am great for doing absolutely nothing beyond claiming allegiance to a thing I deem worthy of authority. I’m great for simply being linked to something I’m not functionally considering or contributing to.”

The above statement functionally applies to every categorical social distinction imaginable. Race, religion, class, education level, ethnicity, regionalism, fandom, etc — any person who self-identifies through groups and labels is NECESSARILY conceited in the sense that the underlying assumption is ‘allegiance to groups and labels somehow enhances and elevates personal belief(s) to the level of capability, truth and understanding for and with respect to all things.’

In other words: “Being linked to this group, social credential and/or ideological label makes me superior to things that can potential outperform me in reality.” Conceit causes the ideologue to confuse knowledge with understanding; familiarity and exposure with critical analysis; opinion with talent, capability and expertise and explainability…

The ideologue is unfathomably conceited as a product of WHAT it is. “I am better than you as a result of things I had no hand in contributing to developing. You are beneath me because of things I am linked to by choice or happenstance, and not by virtue of what I can actually do or understand in real time.”

An ideologue given to academia or philosophy could feel very accomplished for memorizing and reciting the thoughts and ideas of various academics and philosophers within their respective institutions, without ever demonstrating an actual understanding for any of the ideal types plucked from the sources they view as authorities, and still believe themselves to be entitled to berate, dismiss and marginalize individuals for not edifying and reflecting their own senses of importance back to them.

Again, working through the authoritarian mode necessarily handicaps the thought process, as it causes people to confuse authority with truth, and then pursuing and establishing authority with pursuing and speaking on behalf of truth. “I am better than you, which gives me the right to say what’s correct and what’s incorrect. I am the *authority here — who and what determines meanings, order and the outcome of events.”