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Illusion of Confidence

I wrote this many years ago when I was feeling pangs of alienation, but I think it pretty well describes the situation we’re in today.

The key to self-empowerment in this culture is to do whatever one does with so much dexterity and enthusiasm and obvious self-confidence that it psychs the opposition into supporting it uncritically. Our society never judges the nature of a thing by its content, but by its ability to project a front which is uniformly free of self-doubt. It is necessary to seem to act impulsively, but with a knack for being right. The critics are so awed by the captivating illusion that they fail to see the careful planning that lies beneath, and they don’t think to be critical until one is already beyond their reach.

What matters is not competence or even self-confidence, but the illusion of absolute self-confidence, the ability to convey to others that you have a plan that cannot fail. They will be so impressed by someone “with a plan,” feeling acutely their own inability to define their direction, that they will stand aside from your path and shower you with gifts and praise. The problem with illusions is that they eventually collapse under their own weight. Once the opposition realizes they have been used, they will strike back with a vengeance that is surprising in such weak, irresolute souls.


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