I was reading an opinion piece about sexism and I couldn’t quite figure out whether the author was a troll or just stupid, because – you guessed it – the article itself was sexist.
Too many social commentators fall into the trap of believing that their viewpoint isn’t influenced by their own prejudices, or worse: some believe that they are somehow free of the prejudices that influence others. They do this by artificially setting themselves apart from the group they are criticising and thereby claiming moral authority over the subject matter.
See what I did there?
As evils go, I would venture that hypocrisy is pretty mild. Nonetheless, few things can torpedo your credibility as effectively as being exposed as a hypocrite.
This is a fascinating aspect of the human condition, because it means that reputation carries more weight than fact. It’s not a question of what is being said, but who is saying it. Being well-respected gives you license to feed people truckloads of bullshit – as long as you aren’t caught out.
The reverse is also true. Whenever someone like Mac Maharaj makes an accusation of corruption, there are hoots of derision from the media, even if he has a stack of evidence to support his case.
In a logical world, this wouldn’t occur. Politicians would have to find real jobs and pyramid schemes would be the sole province of the ancient Egyptians. Unfortunately, humans are seldom logical creatures and tend to be promiscuous with their trust. Trust me on this.