False Idealism vs. True Idealism

Little pisses me of more than grumpy, old, bitter people criticizing those in their 20s and late teens for being “too idealistic”, and then grouping us all into one undefinable glob. While this post is not focused on the video seen above, it exemplifies exactly what I am talking about.

It exemplifies a lethal betrayal, bottom of the barrel self-esteem, and outright moral cowardice.

“Go fuck yourself.” is too kind a comment for any idiot willing to say such a thing, on radio or otherwise.

Like I said though, this post is not about her, her betrayal, or the personal misery she lives with every day. It is about the collective grouping she expresses in her statement. It is about the homogenization of every young person into one giant “naive” group.

  • I am not a hippie.
  • Readers of this blog, are not hippies.
  • Fans of The 21 Convention, are not hippies.

Being a principled young adult with unyielding integrity and the moral courage to challenge the lies you’ve been fed since birth is the polar opposite of what this meme picture represents, and what that woman in the video claims.

False Idealism vs. True Idealism

It’s not always easy to discern between a principled young adult, and one who is a raving idiot protesting on a street corner about everything and nothing all at the same time with no purpose, or clear line of reasoning to support their anger.

It can be even more difficult to discern between abstract ideas that fuel these factions. What sparked this post is just that: a successful young man in his mid twenties, with some seemingly good ideas and tips to share.

I’m going to nitpick a few that are quite the opposite. That are in fact destructive, and make a mockery of the very conception of “the good”. Ideas that fuel the continued philosophical decay of the entire world.

Ideas that are intellectually and morally toxic.


From “In Over Your Head” (hat tip to Richard Nikoley for the find)

“100 Tips about Life, People, and Happiness”

From a NY Times Bestselling Author

1. True wisdom and insight is always free.

The fuck it is. Someone had to work for and earn that wisdom and insight. SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, at some point, paid for it. You were not entitled to that wisdom and insight. If you received it without stealing it it’s because someone was either generous enough to give it to you or because someone else figured out — through hard work and effort — how to get it to you by charging you a different form of currency. Time, effort, attention, reputation, word of mouth, etc.

There is no such thing as free. The very idea is poisonous and anti-reality.

And what of the wisdom and insight that are the product of brutally hard work, blood, sweat, and tears?

This statement makes a fundamental mockery of the individual who works and works fucking hard for what they receive in return.

6. Remain skeptical forever.

This is another dangerous idea that is psychologically unstable and inevitably damaging. What should I be skeptical of? Everything? My own mind? Sensory perception? Reality?

Take the example of God. There is no evidence of “god” existing. The very concept of God defies the requirement for evidence. God by definition defies reality.

What am I to conclude? That because I cannot prove God “doesn’t” exist, that I must remain “skeptical” of his existence as asserted by others? That’s insane. I am not skeptical, I completely reject the idea.

This is the only rational conclusion a person can make. Every other conclusion is irrational. Every other conclusion is without reason.

Reality is not so kind. Being “skeptical” of gravity at the top of a 10 story building results in death.

9. Join a movement.

I’d bet the world that this statement stems from the conventional wisdom of “devoting yourself to a cause or movement”. Usually unknown to the people preaching this nonsense, this is code for living through others.

Which is code for living for others.

Which is code for living for anyone and everyone’s happiness but your own.

Which is code for collectivism.

Which is a mask for altruism.

Which is a clever cover for self-sacrifice.

This is the ultimate conclusion of this harmless little idea.


Why the hell should you join a movement? What is the meaning of doing so? Do you have good reasons for doing so?

Will you continue to live for your own selfish happiness?

These are ultra important questions that go unanswered in this nice little “tip”. Without sharp answers, it remains undefined, and unlimited in scope.

Go ahead, join the next death camp movement. Join any movement. Just be sure to join a movement. Don’t bother questioning why. Any movement will do. Happiness is not possible without others.

12. Read more. Especially things you disagree with.

This is preached frequently at colleges today, including Harvard.

It’s disgusting advice that belongs in a trash can.

Think about the actual meaning of this: it’s the dietary equivalent of “eat more, especially things that are unhealthy and even poisonous”. No one would ever say that about nutrition.

Why would anyone say that about what you feed your mind?

This is a statement of moral cowardice. This is synonymous with saying “be open minded”.

Open minded to what? Anything? Every piece of trash that comes my way? Every e-mail that pops in my inbox? Every comment that appears on my blog?

My time and my life are more valuable than that.

13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth.

Interesting statement. Contrast it with

“Get used to feeling intelligent. It’s a sign of success and respecting reality.”

My statement is the polar opposite of his. Which one would you want to live your life by?


I’ve cherry picked tips that were horrible from the list. I don’t know the author personally. Not all the tips are bad. Stand on your own judgement and take a look yourself.

— Anthony Dream Johnson

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

7 Responses to False Idealism vs. True Idealism

  1. Andy January 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    12. Read more. Especially things you disagree with.

    If I think about the actual meaning of this, I don’t agree with your comparison. Reading something you disagree with might cause some positive adaptation in your mind. I don’t know how time effective it is though 🙂

    13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth.

    A bad way of saying you learn from mistakes?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson January 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      I think #12 is a soft version of subjectivism, or a way of encouraging it that is not easily observable.

      In a sense, #12 is a microexpression of subjectivism. Since man cannot ever be certain of a fact of reality, he should specifically focus on writings that contradict his conclusions.

      I am convinced life is good and that happiness is possible. Why would I have any meaningful interest in studying works that oppose this? Sounds depressing at best.

      #13 could be interpreted in that way, but I doubt that was the fundamental inspiration for the “tip”. I suspect if it were, the word choices would have been different.

      • Matt January 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

        I agree with many of the tips you disagree with, but the list itself is ridiculous. To think that this list will make any difference in anyone’s life is ludicrous. Is someone really going to see a vague platitude and change their life? The list exemplifies everything wrong with the current state of the “blogosphere”.

      • michael February 2, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

        it could be interpreted as read more- increase your knowledge. read that which you do not agree with- test your knowledge; how sound are your theories? are you prepared to argue against them to improve them? at the least opposite theories help us evolve our theories, grating us a deeper awareness and understanding of them as they are argued against (including by ourselves). they can provide a shadow contrast which illuminates our own theories further.

  2. William Courchesne January 24, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    hey Anthony,

    It feels to me like all your points are spot on, but also that, as Andy may have caught on to, the points you referenced from “In Over Your Head” were just poorly written and not properly fleshed out by the original author. If they were, then yeah…horrible.

  3. michael February 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    1. True wisdom and insight is always free- I really like your reply.

    6. Remain skeptical forever- a skeptic is one with an inquiring mind.. especially when a theory is ‘known’, a new theory may evolve which can be engaged by one with an open mind. it takes an open, inquiring mind to refine/evolve theories which are taken for granted/ ‘known’.

    9. Join a movement- what about one to empower people to self actualize?

    13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth- again, nice reply.


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