The Joyous Hypocrite

For most people, being hypocritical is uncomfortable- at least if they become aware of that hypocrisy. Hypocrisy means guilt, denial, etc.

A minority of sociopaths and sociopathy adjacent types seem unaffected by hypocrisy- able to wear the mask quite comfortably. A lot of politicians and clergy, for example.

But every so often one hears about particularly spectacular cases of hypocrisy among elites, cases where a person’s private actions seem to mock the very norms they support in public life- as if the hypocrisy were not incidental, but the point of their actions. When I hear about these cases I wonder if they do not form a type, the joyous hypocrite- which goes beyond mere calculating indifference to hypocrisy. These people seem to positively enjoy the sense of power they gain from violating the norms they preach.

Such a character might enjoy hypocrisy for:

  1. The sense of cleverness it gives them in tricking others about their principles and moral identity.
  2. The sense of power it gives them, in being able to bypass barriers which they have reinforced.
  3. The sense of exclusivity they gain, in taking a pleasure they’ve helped render illicit for others.
  4. the sense of freedom they gain from not being encumbered by the disguises they wear.

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