Category Archives: self-love

The curse of self-esteem


Oh, happy, happy Caligula!

Self-love, writes Dalrymple,

used to be a vice, but nowadays it is the nearest thing to a virtue, as a supposed precondition of our own mental health (whatever that might be).

The theory is that self-love

is a precondition to success, happiness, and resilience, and should therefore be taught early and probably incessantly.

Some people think

the promotion of youthful self-satisfaction and conceit an excellent idea, the key to the little ones’ future happiness.

Dalrymple points out that criminals,

especially the vicious rather than the merely pathetic ones, have very high self-esteem. They are generally proud of how awful they have been and positively swagger with satisfaction at their own competence in the matter of causing misery to others. They too have ‘core beliefs’ about themselves, all of them highly flattering. They even think they are lovable as well as admirable.

Malice and benevolence

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 05.02.39Joseph Butler, Dalrymple explains,

does not deny that motives are often mixed, but this does not mean that all motives are really one meta- or mega-motive.

In this connection, Butler coins his dictum:

Everything is what it is, and not another thing. (This can be found in Fifteen Sermons, Preface §39.)

In other words, says Dalrymple,

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 05.06.10benevolence is benevolence and malice is malice, even if they co-exist in one human heart.


argument against self-love, self-interest or power being the only human motive is simple but decisive.

Dalrymple draws attention to Butler’s 1727 sermon Upon Human Nature, citing this passage:

That what has [the appearance of goodwill] is often nothing but ambition; that delight in superiority often (suppose always) mixes itself with benevolence, only makes it more specious to call it ambition than hunger, of the two; but in reality that passion does not more to account for the whole appearance of good-will than this appetite does. Is there not often the appearance of one man’s wishing that good to another, which he knows himself unable to procure him; and rejoicing in it, though bestowed by a third person? And can love of power any way possibly come in to account for this desire or delight?

Blair’s purity

Smirking, heartless whore of the US neo-cons wants another war

Blair wants another war

Throughout his years in office, Dalrymple writes, Tony Blair

kept inviolable his belief in the existence of a purely beneficent essence of himself, a belief so strong that no quantity of untruthfulness, shady dealings, unscrupulousness, or constitutional impropriety could undermine or destroy it.

Help! I’m starved of self-esteem

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 03.55.57Our modern sages teach that this is one of the very gravest of afflictions, leading ineluctably to hidebound dysfunction and very often madness, and to all manner of enormities from torture to fascism to self-harm to uncontrollable habits of self-pollution to warlordism to sexism to unbridled lust to kidnapping to pedantry to pederasty to blood-soaked dreams of conquest to Islamophobia to drug addiction to suicide to violent abuse of minors to rape to murder and even to unconcealed, out-and-out racism.