In “Power Increases Hypocrisy: Moralizing in Reasoning, Immunity and Behavior,” researchers sought to determine whether power inspires hypocrisy, the tendency to hold high standards for others while performing morally suspect behaviors oneself. The research finds that power makes people stricter in moral judgment of others – while being less strict of their own behavior.
[ ]…”For instance, we saw some politicians use public funds for private benefits while calling for smaller government, or have extramarital affairs while advocating family values. Similarly, we witnessed CEOs of major financial institutions accepting executive bonuses while simultaneously asking for government bailout money on behalf of their companies.”
“According to our research, power and influence can cause a severe disconnect between public judgment and private behavior, and as a result, the powerful are stricter in their judgment of others while being more lenient toward their own actions,” he continued.
“Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged?” is about as useful a cultural philosophy as the “customer is always right”. The later burns out customer service and sales people whose time and patience is consumed by customers that are frequently impossible to please or who are frequently trying to get something for nothing. Judging people is not only a major sport, it pays extremely well. TV and radio pundits makes millions off-putting injecting the malicious zing in judgmental. They’re far from “fair and balanced”. Fair and balanced is what the public gets from NOW with Bill Moyers. Unbalanced and judgmental gets the ratings just like ranting customers get the attention.
People in power are not the brightest people in society. America’s smartest citizens are people who generally do not make the news – professors, engineers, scientists and writers. But people in power are clever at manipulation and it helps that in some cases people want to be used and manipulated. It’s probably a general human tendency, but very pronounced in conservatives. Idolatry tends to grease the wheels of rationalization. Bush administrations scandals included administration officials in sex and financial scandals, abuse of the Department of Justice and manipulating security related intelligence to sell a counterproductive war. For every lie, scandal and manipulation there were plenty of ordinary people falling all over themselves to echo those lies and make excuses. Anyone running for office knows that scandals have an arch and there are tried and true methods for riding them out. Accusing your critics of being unpatriotic is always a crowd pleaser.
Galinsky noted that moral hypocrisy has its greatest impact among people who are legitimately powerful. In contrast, a fifth experiment demonstrated that people who don’t feel personally entitled to their power are actually harder on themselves than they are on others, which is a phenomenon the researchers dubbed “hypercrisy.” The tendency to be harder on the self than on others also characterized the powerless in multiple studies.
“Hypercrisy” is also exploited to a large degree. Complain that some people are not getting a little more than they deserve, but are benefiting from their power in obscene disproportion to their contribution to society and you’ll be accused, tried and condemned as a person who believes there is a culture war between economic classes. THE TRUTH is you’re just lazy, or dumb, or female, or a non-believer, or short or brown – you must be guilty of some quality that has condemned you to your status. Certainly many people do and should take as much responsibility for themselves as possible, but most of us know that much of what happens to us is out of our control.
“Ultimately, patterns of hypocrisy and hypercrisy perpetuate social inequality. The powerful impose rules and restraints on others while disregarding these restraints for themselves, whereas the powerless collaborate in reproducing social inequality because they don’t feel the same entitlement,” Galinsky concluded.
There is a difference, though it is hard to tell some days, between being a self-righteous whiner seeking special entitlements and insisting on genuine meritocracy.
It’s another you’ll be attacked by a shark before such and happens story, but I did watch fifteen minutes of news today on tightening your budget after the holidays and some guy’s exploding jockey shorts. A little perspective is in order. The Odds of Airborne Terror
There were a total of 674 passengers, not counting crew or the terrorists themselves, on the flights on which these incidents occurred. By contrast, there have been 7,015,630,000 passenger enplanements over the past decade. Therefore, the odds of being on given departure which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 500,000. This means that you could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning.
On Tuesday, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog got its knickers in a twist over one of the Obama White House’s myriad Christmas trees…The blaring “EXCLUSIVE” led with a blurry photo of a decoupage Christmas ornament adorned with the face of Chinese Communist dictator, Mao Zedong.
“Of course, Mao has his place in the White House,” Big Government wailed about the [Great Christmas Ornament Scandal], taking the Obama-as-socialist meme out for a yuletide spin.
Except, it wasn’t exactly Mao. It was Andy Warhol’s “Mao.”
The image is one of a very large series of silkscreen paintings and prints the late Pop artist made of Mao. Warhol’s parody transformed the leader of the world’s most populous nation into a vapid superstar — the most famous of the famous. The portrait photo from Mao’s Little Red Book is tarted up with lipstick, eye-shadow and other Marilyn Monroe-style flourishes.
The precise source of the Warhol ornament is not known. But Warhol’s Maos are in art museum collections from coast to coast, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago (whose painting most resembles the ornament image) and both the County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum has several.
I’m not a Warhol fan so it pains me to some degree to give him credit for something. By making Mao just another colorful little toonish figure he deflated the man and his followers.
Big Government’s Breitbart does not know much about art or culture – poor guy, but that’s fine. People have different interests. Thou he should brush up on his ethics – they are a form of applied values. Helping to perpetuate a fraudulent scheme involving partisan actors and manipulating video is borderline, if not out right criminal.