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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

How did we all get so self-righteous?

Self-righteousness has apparently become a seeming part of modern life. This is in that there is a seeming trend for there to be a growing trajectory of us courting approval and bodies of friendships through the firm belief that there is a correct and incorrect way of going about things, without sufficient doubt or flexibility. Back vs white. Or just childishly basic.

It is a basic approach to life that is seeming to represent a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ method of believing. This transcends to there being a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of being, where thing that were once largely private or even just individual choices have come to signify something much more profound.

Whereas respecting the opinions of others may once have being deemed a necessary element of maturity, it now appears more encouraged to simply plug your own opinion under the assumption that everybody thinking alternatively is morally and intellectually somehow less worthy.

Call me naïve, idealistic or whatever, but I tend to believe that people are generally pretty well-intentioned. Ever since I was old enough to gain any sort of real understanding or insight, life unfortunately just has never seemed fair. Without wishing to make this overly personal or indeed overly corny, being both a victim and a survivor has given me an almost involuntary glimpse from both ends of the spectrum.

The technological revolution has undoubtedly assisted us and caused progress. I’d say that we are stuck within the limbo of individual freedom vs dependency and isolation. The reliance that it has created on intangible forces led by a supposed need to always maintain a connection with friends and family. Paradoxically, I feel that our connection with our widespread community can be seen as weaker due to our individualised dependence in projecting ourselves.

This need to be protrusive upon our choices of lifestyle and the set of beliefs that we hold just feels so tiring. This loaded with the pretext that there is an ethically holistic way to go about the decisions that you take in life and that you have to belong to the correct bandwagon to understand the world.

‘Collective individualism’ is a term that I would describe the ethos of us millennials. Trump, Corbyn, Johnson… It all seems to be about the – patriarchal as these names are – ascribing somebody (anti or pro, usually) as a representation of what we believe. Then swarm around in pockets of people who think just like us.

Fair’s, fair, this is perhaps not some entirely new phenomena. To me it’s awful for the almost misogynistic Thatcher to arguably have lead the way in being a definitive leader. Albeit, I still deem our country’s longest serving 20th Century prime minister to be responsible for the decay of much of the grossest and unapologetic inequalities that we witness in the U.K. today.

Small credit where credit’s due, at least Thatcher implemented– deplorable and ethically flawed as I’m confident that it was – a heartfelt ideology. Whereas today’s political environment seems to be dominated by leaders being manufactured to morph themselves into what is expected of them by their devotees.

There is bitter irony in that through the individualism of social media has made us less capable of thinking or addressing anything ourselves, without deeming it to complement our widespread conviction, which has come so definitive.

It is is almost as though this self-righteousness is almost a new leap of faith, through which we can glimpse of people almost having the need to exhit themselves almost evangelically.

For example, people subscribing to certain dogmatic viewpoints and failing to see outside of the viewpoints that they hold simply comport themselves as the ideal consumers. Yet, of course they are according to themselves, just pure and following some calling. Almost parallel to a faith, a calling can almost be used as vague enough to allow for an absence of any robust merit in that blame and responsibility can always be easily deflected.

This is perhaps the more modern day religion as it is through self-righteousness that seems to be advertised as a way to lead to some sort of eternal salvation. Tolerating opinion that is astray from our own definitive views or being anything other than aggressive to allow for our sanctimonious beliefs to be revered is seemingly necessary. Absolute bollocks, in my view.

I just hope that we can all recognise that people are not so different and are all wanting of fairly similar comforts. It must be preferable for us to return to some consensual and constructive way of operating. Unlike the divisive and supposedly morally superior way of operating that we seem to be left with today.

So our self-righteousness needs to climb down from its high-horse.

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