A Thought Piece on Contrarianism

The world is topsy-turvy, therefore ways of helping it ideologically are topsy-turvy too.

A Thought Piece on Contrarianism

The world is topsy-turvy; this is problematic because that means what we say means the opposite of what it really is.

Take leadership for example: we consider a leader to be a person who leads people and so we erroneously conclude that leaders, 1. lead by power (words) or example, 2. have followings. We conclude this because we assume that a leader leads. A leader does lead, but in what way? Shouldn't a leader be thoughtful of people? And if a leader was thoughtful of the people he/she was leading, wouldn't they also conclude that they wouldn't want the people they are leading to suffer? And if they wouldn't want people to suffer, then they would take the hard work upon themselves? And if they took the hard work upon themselves, then they would neither want people to follow them nor ask people to do anything for them? because the leader is trying to benefit people; therefore he/she would not ask people to follow in their footsteps and suffer nor ask people to lift weights that he/she is attempting to lift for them. Does a leader not benefit others by going ahead of others and making the path easier and by doing so, lead no one, but walk alone?

Let us talk about values. Yes, everyone has values nowadays, but what is a value? At first you may say, well honesty or patience, love or family, temperance or modesty, but then I will say, "Yes, these are fine values, but they are not your values, you do not own these values as some portion of your identity, they are the words and descriptors other people assign to you." A personal value is a contradiction. I cannot own a value; I live out values. I cannot be honest; I must find situations in which I can act honest, and to the degree that I act consistently honest across all situations, that is the actual degree that I "have that value", but it is not because I have it, it is only because I am consistent with it. At first this may not seem like a problem, but then I will ask you: how consistent are people across many values? Do some values like love and patience seem to be affirming at first, but later prove to be conflicting? Yes. In which case, which value do you have? But if it is the case that in this situation you choose love and the next you choose patience and back and forth, isn't that a sign that you don't adhere to any values? Precisely because you have multiple values? The more values I have, the less I follow them, and a value, when not followed, is not a value at all. Therefore I will say to you, "the person that has no values, is seen to have the most values."

Hypocrisy! Even the word itself is the opposite of what we think it is. We consider a hypocrite to be a person who says one thing and then does another, but what is true hypocrisy? A true hypocrisy is when a person is not themselves, and can it be the case that if a person is a hypocrite, a genuine one, —for there are certainly all sorts of people in the world, then by this very definition, a hypocrite, as long as they are a true hypocrite, is no longer a hypocrite because they are fully themselves: a hypocrite. Since, if they are a real hypocrite, to be a hypocrite would be to be the truest version of themselves, and they would therefore not be a hypocrite because a hypocrite is not themselves. Hypocrisy has nothing to do with being consistent in values and behavior; it has everything to do with being a human being that is dynamic, fluid, changeable... since human beings are not rocks, but each human being surely progresses, develops, and grows during a lifetime, changes, but by our definition being a real person means you're a hypocrite because you're changing from moment to moment...


We live in topsy-turvy times, and the result is that to help the world is itself in opposition of itself. Never before has there been as many people who want to leave a legacy, impact the world, help people, and make things better. I encourage it; I am happy for the good intentions of a class of people that had never existed in the proportion it does today, but now I ask, how do we best help the world?

Certainly before we help, we must first understand what is actually helpful and what is not, the worse thing would be to give the appearance of helping, but actually harming: like doing a patch-job on a tire to "fix it" only to have it blow out later as a result of negligence in fixing it in the proper way. Proper being synonymous with "right" or "good" or "best".

The best way to help the world is to help the people in that world. To help the people in that world, you must make it easier to resolve the problems they have. Like getting to work —traffic is a problem that causes stress, thus to alleviate traffic means to alleviate stress, means to fix a problem, means to help people. Great.

But what of resolving ideological problems? Take for example, faulty reasoning. Since, faulty reasoning is caused by the person themselves, is the conclusion we come to that we need to fix the person? Ah, we enter the classic Pygmalion Project; take for example two people whom are in a relationship, where each insists the other person change (or fix themselves) for the sake of the other. Is it not a classical case that this relationship deteriorates quicker than all other relationships? Since, a relationship is healthy to the proportion that each person doesn't ask the other person to change? That is our classical definition of healthy, but if we take the topsy-turvy view, we find that healthy actually means unhealthy, and that a healthy relationship would actually have people participating in asking the other to change, but not for their the one's sake, but for the other's sake. Either way we are caught on the horns of a conundrum —how does one person help another person resolve their faulty reasoning? There is just as much good cause to fix it as there is to worsen it since the cause is the person themselves.

One begins to look towards the causes of the causes; the faulty reasoning is caused by the person, but what causes the person? Ah, but that is a mixture of the person (of which we cannot alter) and the environment (society) that they exist in! Thus, we arrive that to change people means to change society, but to change society means to change people... the forces, the fulcrums of which to change the lever of humanity are hidden from conscious forces —so a person can only help society through less-than conscious forces, perhaps we can call this: "force of will." Yes, it seems like the greatest ideological minds have a force of will that somehow moves people as if by magic because there is no specific occurrence that can be pointed to except for the person themselves.

Hence, everyone person who wishes to help society, must inevitably stand against it. Why? Because society seeks to level and normalize people —this is called tradition, status quo, and culture, whereas the individual must always be an individual and therefore transcends tradition, status quo, and culture. They become an outcast; the best way to help society, is ironically, to be a contrarian.

But now that I have told you this, then you will seek to be a contrarian, and by doing so, you will commit all the faults I have listed above of leadership, of values, of hypocrisy, because you will attempt to be a leader by being a contrarian, and therefore you seek to have those values, and therefore you become not yourself —and since you are no longer yourself, no longer an individual, you invalidate your own wish to be a contrarian, by trying to be a contrarian. You cannot be a contrarian; you can only be yourself —and if you happen to be a contrarian, then so be it, that is how you must live.