“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.” ―Arthur Schopenhauer
When I was in high school, a Chinese friend—who was rather critical of his own country—told me that nationalism was stupid since you don’t even get to choose the country that you’re born in. Being a fierce ethno-nationalist at the time, it ticked me off to hear that. In my head, I rationalized dozens of reasons why nationalism was important and how it was a necessity to protect one’s race and culture. The whole idea of rejecting nationalism was so ridiculous back then that I was offended by his comments as though he was trying to erase my very identity.
But that was half a lifetime ago and my views have changed considerably since then. Now, I have nothing but contempt and disdain for anyone who derives a sense of pride by attaching themselves to something they themselves aren’t active participants of. These are the people whom I will refer to as pride leeches.
The nature of pride leeches
As I’ve discussed in my manifesto, our society is doused by culture of vicariousness where people merely derive mental stimulation from being a passive observer. The primary example of this are all the electronic entertainments of movies, television shows, spectator sports, and so on. People engaged in these activities do absolutely nothing besides watch others engage in drama and spectacle in a controlled environment of illusions, and feel entertained by imagining themselves in the middle of the action. They have no control and no input (besides the fee they pay for the privilege of being a spectator), but they still feel as though they are enriching their lives by merely absorbing what they see and hear. This is what I refer to as antiphysical as people are essentially removing themselves from the physical reality to engage in these activities.
Pride leeches, then, are a sub-group of people who engage in antiphysical activities to feel pride in a group or organization where they themselves play almost no role. Just think of how excited sports fans get when their team scores a goal or wins the trophy. What did the fan himself do? What is his contribution besides the money he dishes out in exchange for feeling pride? He is not the one who went through years of training; he is not the one putting his strength, skills, and intelligence to practice; he is not the one in the field sweating and fighting for his team’s victory. No. The fan is a nobody; he is a mere spectator. He is not the one making a difference. He is only there because he has nothing better to do with his short life than to watch other men achieve things for him to feel proud of—he is a leech. And he siphons pride by mentally associating himself with the source of pride: the pride host. No matter what the fan thinks of his own identity, he is nothing but a consumerist audience.
The pride leeches and their pettiness are also present in loyalty to consumer products. To take a recent example, let’s take a look at smartphone rivalry. At a fundamental level, Apple phones and Samsung phones—even with different operating systems—are nearly identical in many respects. Using one over the other is not likely to change a person’s life in any significant way. Yet, the “fans” (consumers, really) of these products often get into heated arguments and fling insults at each other over on the Internet like bunch of monkeys—all to assert the superiority of their product over their rival’s. This absurdity only exists as the consumers had paid money not just for a practical product, but for an object to flaunt their status: something to be proud of. Like with sports, the phone, and by extension, the company that produces them, becomes their pride host which they must defend and fight for. Again, the pride leech is nothing but a consumer. He did not design the phone nor create it, but he still feels pride by identifying himself with it.
Pride leeches in politics
Beyond sports and consumer products, pride leeches are most prominent in the political world. And this is where they are differentiated from the pride leeches who are consumers.
Pride leeches in politics attach themselves to leaders, movements, nations, and “civilizations” without being an active participant in it. Usually, the most they will do is assert their opinions to support their host or insult their rivals from safe zones. Their powers are usually limited to voting, which is not much at all.
These types don’t seem to be aware of how insignificant they are, that they are mere drones and taxpayers. For example, those who call themselves “nationalists” have done absolutely nothing to advance their nation, race, or culture, yet they fantasize about how great and superior they are compared to others based on the accomplishments of their forefathers. They did not fight in the wars, they did not create lasting arts, they did not make the scientific discoveries, yet these leeches feel proud because they just happened to be born within their host. It’s not a surprise that these individuals are almost always nobodies in real life even as they go on the Internet to spew their hatred for the out-group to reaffirm their own supposed superiority. Even if they contribute to their host in some ways, on the scale of things, they are still as insignificant as a single ant in a colony. Their pride never matches their individual accomplishments.
We also saw these pride leeches in full action with the recent US presidential election. As soon as Trump entered the race, he attracted the leeches by entertaining the crowd and playing with their fantasies. The American people were feeling insecure with the faltering economy and unstable social situation that they were desperate for a renewed sense of confidence. The fact that many people perceived Obama as being weak also prompted many to want a strong leader who would make them feel proud of their country again. Trump knew all this and he was able to say just the right things and behaved just the right way to make the starving leeches believe that he would be their perfect host. Trump promised to make them feel proud by making America “great again,” and in turn, got their fanatical support.
This is how many young people were prompted to sit in front of their computers and cheer on Trump from the Internet so that they could leech on pride without having to leave their seats. If Trump insulted or shut down someone, it made the leeches feel proud because his display of dominance was seen as their own, just like the sports fans who feel excited when their team scores a point. Trump made them feel strong and masculine, and that’s all that mattered for them. And if anyone dared to criticize their “God-Emperor,” these lapdogs jumped in his defense as they had to defend their host—the source of their pride—from being (figuratively) attacked, much like the smartphone fans I mentioned before. Even after Trump had won the presidency, these pathetic men still continue this charade on a daily basis so that they can keep on leeching pride to numb themselves of their own pathetic existence.
The danger of pride leeches
While they don’t usually pose a problem, pride leeches become dangerous when they turn blind and become susceptible to manipulation. As their attachment to the host of their pride becomes inseparable, they become emotionally hijacked and all sense of reason and decency get thrown out the window. For these people, the only question that matters to them is: Does this enhance my pride or hurt it? And when that becomes their only moral principle, these leeches turn into fanatics who will destroy anything and anyone to feed their sense of pride.
Among all the pride leeches, I have to say that the “patriotic” Americans are the most ignorant, arrogant, and disgusting of them all. Soldiers of authoritarian ideologies and Islamic terrorists have some excuse as they’ve been brainwashed from childhood and conditioned to be fanatical in their beliefs. The American pride leeches who blindly cheer their government don’t have that excuse as they live in relative freedom with access to all kinds of information they could inform themselves with. But no, they choose to remain obtuse to preserve their smug vanity. They hate on countries and people they don’t know because it fuels their pride, it reaffirms their American exceptionalism. They support their government’s invasions and bombings of countries they can’t even locate on a map, because it makes them feel strong. The 9/11 attack hurt their pride, it made them feel weak when they were supposed to be the strongest—it hurt their feelings. The result was that Iraq was invaded based on lies even though they had nothing to do with the attacks. The leeches wanted to feel proud again, so they blindly supported the destruction of another country without even thinking about it. It’s not a coincidence that many of these cowards who support the wars don’t even fight in one themselves; they just want others to make the sacrifice for their pride.
These human garbages can’t handle the truth if it hurts their pride. If you mention their government’s numerous crimes, they will call you a “communist” and resort to childish insults because any criticism of their government is seen as an insult to their beloved land—parasite guarding its host. They are the perfect sheep of statism. Anything that might shatter their illusion is a threat that must be defeated. Truth is irrelevant to them and they will bend morality as they see fit. Double standards and hypocrisy is the norm because the only thing that matters to them is their ability to wave flags and chant USA! USA! USA! because they have nothing else to be proud of within their own little lives. In a way, you are threatening their lives by doing anything that might hamper their ability to leech pride from their country.
Why does this phenomenon exist?
This phenomenon leeching pride is present in our modern world because we humans are tribal beings with the need to belong to something greater. The problem, of course, is that we no longer live in a tribe. While tribes are smaller societies where all members know one another at an intimate level, such is not the case in modern societies and metropolitan cities. It makes sense to be proud of a tribe you contribute to by collecting resources, building infrastructures, and defending it. You are an active member of such society. But modern society makes that process more difficult. You are a mere unit doing your job for much bigger entities. It is as though you are a single cell in a body; your contribution isn’t felt. You are lost in the vastness of it all. The result is that you don’t really feel like you are part of anything. This is why people feel the need to attach themselves to specific events and larger groups that want their money, support, and attention. In exchange, they can feel little better about their living conditions in this prison of ours—they can forget that they are mere economic units in our materialistic world.
The only other option for us is to reject living as leeches and to develop our own tribes. This must start with our own will to reject taking pride in something we are not really a part of. I’m no longer a fan of sports teams, I no longer identify myself with products, and I’m no longer a nationalist of any sort. I refuse to feel proud of something I did not accomplish myself with my own will and grit. I refuse to even see myself as being part of something I’m not an active participant in. I refuse to be a leech.
We must refuse the governments and corporations that try to exploit us. We must resist becoming a herd of sheep for their benefit. Men must mobilize and form their own tribes. We alone must dictate our own destiny. Only we decide our fate.
To learn more on how modern society works and what you can do to form your own tribe, read ‘Man’s Fight for Existence‘.