Three species of sycophancy relate to the loose Shakespearean adage, ‘Methinks he doth protest too much’. When sycophancy becomes the basis of rationale for action, large scale disasters are the result. The net cost of fervent wokeism and social skepticism during the Covid-19 Pandemic? 580,000 young citizen lives and rising fast.
The future death tally from such maliciously-motivated thinking could stand to be on the order of 20 million lives or more – a divergent function which is very difficult to predict, save for its inordinately large reality.
Most American citizens today perceive that there exists in our society pernicious forms of socialized religion, politics, and science. Indeed the purpose of this site, The Ethical Skeptic, has always been to point out both the flaws in thinking and know-them-by-their-fruits handiwork of such social skeptics. Our mission has been to help prepare minds, and equip them in spotting the darkened philosophies of those who pretend to represent rationality, critical thinking, virtue, and science itself.
Theirs has always been an intolerant club of royalty-wannbe self-appointed elites, seeking to impress their way to membership or status therein. How best to achieve such lofty status? Become the most uber of the uber themselves. As Admiral William F (Bull) Halsey is known to have quipped regarding war, “Hit hard, hit fast, and hit often.” Indeed, such poseurs view their conquest of society as a form of warfare – with their only option to impress, to escalate therein. One of my favorite comedy artists elicits this in her monologues.
You know it’s funny the difference between joining a conservative group and a liberal one. When you approach a group of conservatives and say “I’d like to join, I’m a conservative as well”, their response will be “Cool, welcome.” When you approach a group of liberals and say “I’d like to join the effort. I’m as liberal as they come”, their response will be more along the lines of “We’ll see about that.”~ Taylor Tomlinson, Comedienne
Three types of sycophancy relate to the adage “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. This familiar phrase often refers to a person who overacts inside very visible matters of virtue, in order to enhance or exonerate their personal position inside that group, or to allay a secret doubt on their or other members’ behalf.
These three species of deceptive behavior serve to contrast as much as anything the distinction between the opposites, ethics and virtue.
Religious Sycophancy – embodied in a principle called Neuhaus’s Law (Richard Neuhaus, Christian cleric and Catholic priest)1 : Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed. In other words, setting faithfulness aside, ‘God favors the edgy and self-perceived artiste’. Such thinking devolves into a kind of extremist cult inside a cult, a religion of negative reactance. The club of edgy atheists is an example of such religious sycophancy. One does not have to intellectually believe in God, in order to effect the practice of such philosophy inside their life.
Political Sycophancy – embodied in the brainless one-upsmanship of modern progressive liberalism, wherein each player perceives themself to reside in a contest to see who can out-woke all the others. Their habitual defense often involves accusations of straw man, bucket characterization of opponents, and/or ‘racism’.2 The net result of this is a kind of irrational and irreversible fervency on the part of people who seek social control.
Science Sycophancy – embodied by social skeptics : Social skepticism is kabuki, the activist-minded abuse of science by means of its underlying philosophical vulnerability, skepticism. An imperious agency which has politicized and enslaved science through teaching weaponized fake skepticism to useful idiots. The social skeptic is a ‘communicator’ who seeks to squelch scientific dissent, as well as foment and exploit enmity between the lay public and science.3
Such errant thinking rules our universities, media, and politics – much to the injury of the majority of American citizens.
The Cost of Sycophancy
The cost of sycophancy usually involves suffering on the part of the majority of the population, and the enrichment of a very small membership of Royalty, those who profit from the mantle of the fake virtue they have pushed. One should take note that the symbolic group behind such virtue, never actually benefits.4 As often turns out, the cost of this kind of irrationality exploits or functions critically around a principle of human foible I call quod fieri.
quod fieri – (Latin: (lit.) ‘the fact that now something is to be done’) – a form of intervention bias in which something is done, not from sound evidence or a history of effectiveness, but rather simply because ‘something must be done’. This type of decision or action usually is executed in a panic situation, in the face of a slow moving disaster, or a theater of cataclysmic mirage. Ironically its feckless or inane basis is compensated for, by a religious, political, or social fanaticism as to its claimed (but usually false) effectiveness. Those who raise questions regarding the action are typically cast as deplorable and anti-virtue.
The tyranny of the sycophant forces decision makers into taking symbolic or virtuous action before all factors are known and before the question is even defined. This bears the greater chance of resulting in disaster.
Even worse than The Peter Principle, when you hire and promote only persons who look correct to sycophancy, you inherit their lack of skill, their shortfalls in integrity and experience, and their propensity to hire only persons who are exactly like themselves.
There are times during which, because of a lack of intelligence on the matter at hand, taking limited, parsimonious, or even no action – is the right course of action. One should stay the hand of righteous swift justice until such time as one fully comprehends that they are not God, and indeed bear not the least idea as to what is righteous in the first place. Ethics eschews righteousness, virtue claims it.
The net cost of such human depravity today? Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives in the future, at the hands of fake science, political, and social virtue proponents. To wit (click on images to expand them):
As one can see from the two charts in Exhibits A and B, the net cost of such sycophancy as of 17 December 2022, is on the order of 580,000 lives. This death tally is growing by a ratio of 5 to 1 (9,115 versus 1,928 lives) each and every week now, fast overtaking total Covid-19 pandemic deaths at 903,000. The future death tally from such maliciously-motivated thinking could stand to be on the order of 20 million lives or more – a divergent function which is very difficult to predict, save for its inordinately large reality.
Such is the cost of woke and fake science.
The Ethical Skeptic, “The Unbearable Cost of Sycophancy”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 29 Dec 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=70486