Callousness Training

Luke Setzer's picture
Submitted by Luke Setzer on Wed, 2018-07-04 13:07

This article, published in the May 1999 issue of the Space Coast Area Mensa (SCAM) newsletter, made predictions that have sadly come true.

My friend Brian Mos synopsized his thoughts on "emotional self-responsibility" well in a high school essay on free speech: "The First and Fourteenth Amendments protect speech that is quiet, passive, and not disruptive. This leads to the question, 'What is disruptive?' Nearly anything can disrupt someone. …if a person wears a printed message on his own shirt, around his own neck, or in another non-intrusive manner, then there is no reason to punish the wearer. Whoever 'feels distracted' has the option of ignoring that visual display of speech…. A person who 'feels offended' by an idea being expressed is at fault if he causes a disruption by verbally or physically attacking the person expressing that idea. No one should be censored because other people cannot handle his idea."

Alas, it seems that our post-modern leaders have taken just the opposite view of the human capacity for self- management. The progress of time, the growth of government power, and the rise of the "feelings are facts" ideologies have led the U.S. government to expand its role in controlling the privately-owned workplace. New legislation and key court cases have determined that individuals should be "entitled" to a workplace that is not sexually "hostile or intimidating." This means that women (or men) who "feel offended" by posters of naked people in privately owned workplaces may threaten to sue their employers if those displays are not removed on demand. Gone are the days of self- governance, in which people could grumble to themselves, ignore "offensive" remarks, and learn to grow a moral backbone. Today, feelings of "offense" can pay people in terms of power and money. Why bother learning to deal with troubling emotions when the Nanny State will compensate people for experiencing them?

If you think that our esteemed leaders will stop with this level of "sensitivity," think again. A federal newspaper last year published passages from President Clinton's address regarding the topic of "religious harassment." As I have already noted, today's ideologies can become tomorrow's laws. Do not be surprised if new regulations arise in the workplace which forbid people from wearing religious symbols such as crosses and stars. This concept is already being pushed in the public schools, at least for some symbols. President Clinton's championing of school uniforms should thus appear as no surprise. In a culture where people are no longer responsible for managing their feelings or the resultant behavior, the most aggressive and belligerent children readily accept the notion that they are entitled to their feelings of envy for their better-dressed peers. They gladly blame those feelings for their physical attacks on their classmates.

If you find this prediction of new and even more restrictive legislation upsetting, congratulations! It shows you have enough insight to notice the direction in which the "feelings are facts" ideologies can lead a culture; namely, a subjectivist totalitarianism in which no one is safe from arbitrary accusations from vindictive neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, and government bureaucrats.

Happily, there is hope for those who wish to change their approach and cease relying on government handouts of emotional favors. How do the most successful people learn to manage their emotions and thus lead cheerful, productive, balanced lives? Millionaire Charles J. Givens recommends a few simple strategies in his best-selling book SuperSelf (Chapter 22, "Handling Stress"):

  • "Continuously affirm to yourself, 'It's just an event'." Ladies and gentlemen, when you get right down to it, cursing, "indecent" exposure, and many other "social disgraces" are just events! They have no power to alter your emotions except the power you grant to them by your own evaluations.
  • “To cut stress, disconnect your emotions from the outcome of events." Do you constantly expect others – even strangers – to know your tastes and preferences? If so, you cling to some major self-deceptions that can only lead you to disappointment and its progeny, stressful frustration.
  • "State preferences instead of expectations or demands." Stop expecting or demanding the government to enforce all your preferences onto your neighbors! You are quite free to state your preferences, but that is all they are--preferences, not rights or entitlements.

This concludes "Callousness Training". While the title of this thesis may have been somewhat misleading – it was, in fact, "Emotional Self-Responsibility Training" – it contrasts so starkly with contemporary "Sensitivity Training" that it serves its purpose as worded. I hope that readers will take this article and its points to mind and heart, will end their search for a "sensitive" utopia, and will instead seek to fortify their own brains with the mental nutrition of factual knowledge and valid reasoning regardless of outside events.


This will be the last regularly published "Attitude Adjustment" column in the SCAM newsletter. Future columns will appear sporadically as time permits. I have commenced a local study group for fans and followers of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, and it now consumes a significant part of my spare time. I encourage persons who enjoyed this column and who want to learn more to contact me. If you have been looking for a more rational philosophy of life, the writings of Ayn Rand and her associates might be able to help you.

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Big Business, the CAPITULATED minority

Bruno's picture

Big Business, what Ayn Rand called the persecuted minority of the USA, is now almost entirely subjugated to social justice warriors. They usually enter through the HR departments, but they enjoy attacking from social media as well nowadays.

I should rectify and say that rather than "subjugated", they have capitulated voluntarily to this evil. Big Business of all sorts spends millions of dollars on leftist infused advertisement campaigns of every sort, and they push for quota systems and "diversity" both in the workforce and at the top managerial levels.

Big business that does not conform, such as Christian-owned Chick-fil-A are viciously attacked at every chance the left gets, through fake news, social media, and on-the-ground protests.

The big news story of a few weeks ago, Starbucks, an already converged leftist business, capitulated to demands of even more of an extreme leftist fringe when a couple of black people were kicked out of one of their establishments for occupying their facilities without buying any product. Now Starbucks has become an "open space", where customers and non-costumers can alike use restrooms and occupy seats and tables.

Netflix, a now enormous company, is soon to "diversify" itself by appointing a black woman at one of their top positions, probably on the board of directors, which of course was "too white" and thus "non-inclusive".

The social in-justice jihadists are everywhere, they spread like the plague. And the more you concede to their demands, the more they will demand. Give them a hand, they will take your arm.

Altruistic approach

Bruno's picture

The hitherto practiced approach by civilized and normal human beings, which moves vaguely in the direction of saying "kids today are badly educated, they need to control their inner emotions, etc." has been an ineffectual approach, a defensive, and ultimately altruistic and egalitarian appeasement strategy aimed at the good of the perpetrators of evil.

The selfish approach should take into consideration only the good of the victims, the civilized, and the wielding of the hard hammer of justice onto the uncivilized social in-justice warriors. SJWs should be destroyed witout mercy. They should fired, they should be brought to court, fined and arrested when viable, they should be doxed, they should registered into a public list available to all civilized in order to ostracize and punish them whenever possible.

In other words, there should be a strong self-defense strategy, one which recognizes the enemy cannot be reasoned with, only capitulated to or attacked and destroyed through the proper self-defense options legally available. Recognize The Filth for what it is, i.e. filth, and proceed accordingly.

Read Vox Day's two books on the subject: 'SJWs Always Lie" and "SJWs Always Double Down". And I hear a third installment is coming soon. Social in-justice warriors cannot be reasoned with, they are like The Borg of Star Trek. A hive mind hellbent on assimilating you and your company and your nation whatever the cost and through all means necessary. They will never stop. They can only be stopped if civilized human beings say NO. ENOUGH!


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I am left wondering how many of today's young adults have any inner life of self-examination at all by which to exercise the techniques this article describes, or if social metaphysics has indeed swallowed them all whole.

Sadly, the latter in most cases, as best I can tell. Your article was very prescient.

No Inner Life

Luke Setzer's picture

The advent of social media combined with deeper indoctrination of political correctness in American schools from pre-kindergarten through graduate school has only deepened the problems outlined in this 19 year old article.

I am left wondering how many of today's young adults have any inner life of self-examination at all by which to exercise the techniques this article describes, or if social metaphysics has indeed swallowed them all whole.

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