It’s possible to reach a point in life where you realize that, while you might have lofty ideals or goals or things you’d like to see happen for the world, even if you’re ‘objectively’ correct in these, insofar as such things can be reasonably measured, you’re still dealing with what amounts to a writhing mass of selfish, dishonest, chemical-driven child minds. You begin to understand that, even those aligned with you in your lofty ideals and movements or whatever, most people care about resources first and social gratification second. The pyramid of needs. They want to be fed, flattered, and fucked (usually in that order, but there are, of course, exceptions).
Most people will never transcend that. They will be predictably small animals forever, posturing in the form of some enlightened higher being, but ultimately failing the majority of tests of that status given to them by circumstance. They will lie, betray, and misappropriate not as part of some grand plan, but as a matter of mundane daily habit. In short, there aren’t really a lot of good people in the world. Most of them are either too ignorant to be truly good, or too desperate or malevolent to be anything but bad. Most of what we take for evil is just human. Most of what we take to be good is simply ignorance or a lack of influence or power. People are monsters, and only personal intent and practical capability separate the average ones from the ruinous abominations. There are really good folks out there, many of them much, much better than me, but your odds of meeting one are statistically slim.
And you compound these facts with a more subjective analysis. You begin to understand that most people would not piss on you if you were on fire, and still more, even some among those willing to share their water, would go through your pockets while you burn or would simply engage in the entire exercise as a means of obtaining social capital. When you really, intuitively, understand what people are, and what they would do to you if given the opportunity, it really simplifies the math on how you sort your feelings about the world and the people within it. It doesn’t necessarily change the nature of your actions (if you believe in things, you believe in them and you’ll continue to play the fool’s role even knowing what the people around you really are… unless your familiarity with the true nature of humanity comes from privilege, in which case you’ll just become a meaner monster), but it does change what you feel, internally, about other people, about social groups, about social movements, about economics, politics, polities, and power.
I’ve met, maybe, a handful of people in my life that I would trust not to push me into freezing water in order to take my spot on a lifeboat. So, believe me when I tell you that the armchair basic-bitch philosophical analysis of people on the internet, and the posturing of would-be role-models or menacing tormentors, mean less than nothing to me. No one can tell or show me anything more barren than my own thoughts. No one is a harsher critic of me than me. I’m my own god, and I’m a vengeful, evil, empty one at that.
Every time I’ve placed my analytical self aside and just thrown myself into genuine altruistic warmth, I’ve paid dearly for it. Now I just accept that everyone else is simply a potentially dangerous NPC in a dark RPG that I’m stuck in until statistics take me. Not because I believe that I’m intrinsically better, I’m not. My spark means absolutely nothing to this universe, and neither does yours… I only still bother trying to strive for goodness because suffering is cruel and it breaks my heart. But ignorance and desire unmitigated by wisdom or experience are exceptionally dangerous, and you see that everywhere if you have the eyes to.
People think evil folk are exceptional. They aren’t. The most dangerous animal in the world is a normal human being. You won’t find anything colder or darker on this planet. I actually respect an exceptionally evil person more than I respect a false paragon with no introspective capacity. At least the former is honest and somewhat rare, even though the latter is often more destructive.
So, I’m pretty empty, most of the time, when it comes to people. I feel stuff, very deeply much of the time, I really do care about people, about issues, about life, but I ridicule and chastise myself internally for it, because I know what all of you people really are, inside. You would condemn an innocent person to prison or allow a guilty one to go free if someone offered you enough money or fame. A week without food and you’d consider eating your family pet. Two weeks without food and you’d consider eating me (maybe sooner, lol). So, righteous causes and stubborn resolve continue, as always, but know that it is largely performative. It lets me sleep at night, because I know that good is going to lose, eventually. I know that doing the right thing brings only grief and ridicule and loss and ruin. Nothing means anything, and the concept of love is only a social lubricant, and I know these things on a fundamental level. And that’s really sad, isn’t it?
There are days I wish, more than anything in the world, for a really nice lie that I could actually believe.