Entrepreneurs of outrage

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 09.11.43Dalrymple points out that the obtuseness of outrage entrepreneurs is of course deliberate, motivated by their desire to ‘maintain their rage’. The will to outrage is very gratifying, he writes, and

precedes any object to which it might attach. Many people wait in ambush for something to feel angry about, pouncing on it with leopard-like joy (the leopard kills for pleasure and not only for food).

Outrage supposedly felt on behalf of others

  • Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 09.12.18has the appearance of selflessness, and everyone likes to feel that he is selfless
  • confers moral respectability on the desire to hate or despise something or somebody, a desire never far from the human heart
  • provides him who feels it the possibility of transcendent purpose, if he decides to work towards the elimination of the supposed cause of his outrage
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 09.16.54may give him a reasonably lucrative career, if he becomes a professional campaigner or politician, for there is nothing like stirring up resentment for the creation of a political clientele.

The perfect cause, says Dalrymple, for those with free-floating outrage is anti-racism, because it puts them

automatically on the side of the angels without any need personally to sacrifice anything. You have only to accuse others of it to feel virtuous yourself. There is no defence against the accusation: the very attempt at a defence demonstrates the truth of it. It can be wielded against anybody who opposes your views. It reduces them to silence.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 09.15.58

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