Author: Roman King

Roman King is a 15-year-old from Decatur, Illinois currently serving as Senior Editor for 71 Republic. Outside of writing, King is an honor roll student with a varsity letter in Scholastic Bowl, participating on a team that finished 12th at the 2016 Small School National Championship Tournament and 6th at the 2016 IHSA Championships. King can be contacted at [email protected]

From the Editor: The Title “Cultural Critic” Is Meaningless

During my time writing with 71 Republic, I’ve been called many things by my peers at school, by family members, and by people familiar with my writing. I’ve been complimented on giving solid social commentary and giving decent positions on psychological issues, which is nice. There’s one title, though, that I’ve gotten, that I want to disavow vehemently, and I never want to be associated — I never want to hear anybody ever call me a “cultural critic” ever again. The term is utterly useless, pointless, and a breeding pool for incredibly toxic virtue signaling. Here’s how.

The term cultural critic is a wide-spanning term that fits a lot of people under its tent, but a generally accepted definition is somebody who specializes in critiquing societal and cultural theory, sometimes on a rather radical scale. The tent is quite large, too, encompassing popular television personalities like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Ann Coulter, and the like — talk show hosts who point out perceived cultural and societal flaws and discusses how to get rid of them or improve upon them. Also among this group are the political commentators and writers like Nate Silver, Nick Gillespie, Ariana Huffington and the like; journalists that have a rather large sphere of internet influence and that draw a large amount of support, quite like the aforementioned television personalities.

From an intellectual point of view, they’re often harmless enough; most of the so-called television cultural critics generally load their discussion with a fair bit of bias (which doesn’t render the facts they cite their arguments with invalid, just as a rule of thumb) to try and reaffirm their viewer base and belief systems, which is standard human behaviour at best and mildly harmful at worst. Cultural critics like these people are incredibly influential in modern society and can inspire monumental acts of collective activism; take John Oliver’s fascinating battle against net neutrality, for example. People such as this aren’t problematic in it of themselves, but no matter their views they all fall under the same groups; social critic, social commentator, cultural critic, et cetera. The term is incredibly wide used; so wide used, as a matter of fact, that the term has lost the little bit of meaning it once had.

This is a problem. Tomi Lahren, in all of her hyper partisanship, faulty logic, and truth-bending, is best known by populist conservative groups as a cultural critic. Milo Yiannopoulos, who’s most defining trait is having the audacity to be conservative and gay, is an incredibly influential cultural critic. John Oliver, who’s arguments can almost all be boiled down to “But it’s the current year!” is an incredibly influential cultural critic. Even Filthy Frank, a fictitious Internet character made with the sole and express intent to offer shock humour, has been genuinely brought up on Internet discussion boards as a cultural critic.. There is a serious problem when Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and published author, can be put under the same blanket as the plethora of armchair social analysts that plague the Internet at any given point in time. If Peterson is a cultural critic, and Dave the extremely outspoken and somehow oft-viewed liberal blogger at your high school is also a cultural critic, does the term really mean anything?

Anybody can call themselves a cultural critic, because the term is meaningless. Literally anybody who is capable of giving somewhat of an informed opinion on modern events can call themselves a cultural critic, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. The very concept of cultural criticism is something that should be undertaken by a majority of people participating in the culture they’re critiquing; it should not be something unique to massive personalities, because then the culture won’t really accurately reflect the ideas of the people in it. Assigning the title of cultural critic means nothing because almost everybody is capable of critiquing culture.

You could make the argument that people like Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Haidt, and other modern intellectuals are academic cultural critics and can be called that correctly, but the expertise they have and the ideas they espouse are from the academic backgrounds of established branches of studies like psychology, sociology, social engineering and social analysis, and what have you. Their cultural criticism is secondary to their actual professions and fields of expertise. Their social commentary is secondary to their work in academia. People who are known solely for cultural criticism can’t claim that. At best, the contemporary cultural critic is an informed, extroverted individual with a platform on which to espouse their ideas. At worst, and what is becoming more and more common, the contemporary cultural critic is an egomaniac anti-intellectual who uses logical inconsistencies and fallacies to push their agendas onto other people. I’m not that. I’m a journalist, a writer, and a proud student of academia, but I am not a cultural critic, and neither are you.

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A Letter from the Editor: 71 Republic 1, Mainstream Media 0

71 Republic has been around for just over half a year. In that time we’ve been growing as a legitimate news organization; Max Bibeau’s reporting on the Maryland legislation that allowed police to enter houses without permits was a solid, original catch that brought in some good stats and made our brand look a bit more legitimate than it did before. We scored high in factual reporting according to Media Bias/Fact Check, and our writers have covered cryptocurrency astoundingly well, adding positive repute to our track record and making us more and more of a voice in the news world. All the more astounding when you remember this operation being run by people not yet old enough to vote. Getting this far in the news world is enough of an accomplishment — and we’re incredibly proud to have served our community up to this point. Forget about all of that, though. I’m going to sing praise towards our election coverage team, because with their recent accomplishment, 71 Republic is reaching astounding record highs in viewership, and us writers are going absolutely insane over the stats rolling in.

The Alabama Senate special elections concluded tonight, with Doug Jones pulling a surprise victory over Republican Roy Moore. We, of all people, can say this because we out-newsed the entire major media market. We called the election before Associated Press, before Politico, before CNN, before the entire field. All of them. 71 Republic, a relatively brick and mortar news organization, out-reported multi-million dollar organizations with entire professional teams dedicated in media centers to doing nothing but watching elections. This is a miracle right up there with anything Father Christmas could figure out. And because of this expert political analysis, 71 Republic is smashing every single old record for website views imaginable. Incredible. Wow.

I would like to personally congratulate Matt Geiger, Drew Zirkle, Spencer Kellogg, Harrison Lavelle, and Jake Melkun on literally the best piece of election coverage on the Internet all night. I can’t claim a lick of this success; this incredible team of writers and electioneers has pulled something sort of a miracle. Handshakes and bubbly around the roundtable. Only for one night, though; then we’ll get back to providing the same high-quality news 71 Republic patrons are used to.

Congratulations. Let’s keep going from here.

— Roman King, Senior Editor

The Psychology of Malevolence

Roman King | U.S.

There is this common, unearned misconception a lot of people hold of themselves — for whatever reason, a huge amount of people think that they’re absolutely and objectively too good for evil, and look at acts of evil from the perspective of an outsider, and not as somebody who identifies with that. Of course this is the case; why would you want to admit to yourself that you have an element of Cain himself deeply embedded you, when you could just live with no mental responsibility of all and spare yourself the suffering? It’s a defense mechanism, but it’s an incredibly pathetic excuse for a defense mechanism, because it defends absolutely nothing. Here’s the massive, massive problem with this sort of intellectual superiority — it eliminates all need to take responsibility for your own unconscious. Humans — not just neurotic, mentally unstable nutjobs, but the average everyday Joes — are incredibly capable of doing evil, malevolent, reprehensible things, and we can see this throughout the course of our history. Adolf Hitler sent his nation into bloody war, attempted to liquidate an entire population of people, and when his country began to crumble, accelerated the rate at which chaos manifested itself by speeding up the rate at which Germany continued its obliteration of people. He was a neurotic, self-destructive man, and when his own personal agenda crumbled, he had no problem taking down an entire nation along with him. Joseph Stalin was a power-hungry egomaniac who destroyed millions of lives by ensuring that prosperity was to be gained only from the hand of the state, which starved entire countries and launched the idea of collective guilt — all in the name of the proletariat working class. These two individuals are textbook examples of the archetypal tyrant, and they both embody the very worst qualities of humans; greed, anger, irrationality, wrath, and what have you. Humanity was left significantly worse off because of their existence here on Earth. You already knew that, though. Why, then, would there be any reason to spend a significant amount of time listing the exact ways Hitler and Stalin were chaotic and terrible? There are two important reasons, and they’re both equally terrifying: the same driving forces that lead to the deaths of millions of innocent people are the same forces that make especially industrious people successful, and not just that, but the power structures that allowed for Hitler and Stalin to take power were built bottom-up, from the individual, and not from the state.

The idea that authoritarian governments discriminate out of fear is laughable and wrong. What reason should a powerful state have to fear a minority (albeit, a significant one) of people that, generally speaking, aren’t acquainted with chaos and evil being inflicted upon them by the mighty caregiver that is the state? No, instead, fascistic societies segregate and discriminate out of disgust. According to Pathogens and Politics: Further Evidence That Parasite Prevalence Predicts Authoritarianism, a research paper and study done by Damian Murray, countries and states/provinces within those countries with a high relative rate of infectious disease tend to be more conservative/authoritarian than countries with lower rates of infectious disease. If we look at Hitler’s policies, we can see this in action. Hitler viewed the Jewish population as a parasite or a pathogen, and the Third Reich as an entire organism. He viewed the Jewish population in Germany, and the diaspora in general, with disgust and contempt — they were a threat to the imagined purity of the Aryan race. The natural course of action, then, would be to get rid of the perceived threat. Hitler was also incredibly compulsive about public health; he washed his hands compulsively and implemented many policies to try and remove imperfections from the country he governed. No wonder the Nazi government took such stringent anti-smoking policies; it was because Hitler was a compulsive health nut. This is where we see Hitler’s true evil, because while the rate of infectious disease in Nazi Germany wasn’t abnormal at all, he viewed the entire Jewish population as an unnatural pathogen; this lead to the high disgust levels that Murray’s paper outlined, and that disgust lead to the obliteration of 90% of the world’s Jewish population in Europe. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the element of Cain and chaos that lead Hitler to his incredible demolition of people in World War II is the same element that we associate Germany’s modern positives with — austerity, orderliness, and a high work ethic; these are all positive traits we associate Germany with now, and we could easily attribute these characteristics to a large number of successful businessmen. You can point to this directly on the Big Five personality theory; all of those above traits are symptoms of high conscientiousness. In no way is this inherently a bad thing. The CEOs and managers of the world; they can only fulfill their job with an incredible dedication to the field they are participating in and a ridiculous work ethic — things that are only found in people who score high in conscientiousness. The world praises Germany for being an austere, responsible country that takes responsibility for their own problems and works diligently within the belief structures they’ve constructed. On the inverse, if you tilt the orderliness and diligence too far, you’re left with obsession, compulsion, and neuroticism.

Conscientiousness is present in one amount or another in an incredible majority of the population; of course, because not only is it a Big Five personality trait, it’s also one of the only ways anything gets done. It is a trait that is universally present at the individual level. If this element is universally present, it would make sense to assert that the potential for and even the willing acceptance of obsessive compulsive behaviours is also universally available. Often times this sort of jealous compulsion is often found in the shadow, but as we know, elements from the shadow manifest themselves in conscious action all the time. People consciously drive orderliness and conscientiousness to dangerous levels all the time. If these assertions are all true (and I strongly believe they are), what reason is there to believe that the fascistic societies of Hitler and the like were built top-down, like we often believe? Why would we be so naive to assume that the average German individual wasn’t a neurotic, chaotic wreck who would be perfectly fine, if not happy, to participate in the complete obliteration of the “pathogens” facing their nation? Leaders are made by the people, not vice versa. Of course Hitler personally was already a disturbed, neurotic individual, but at the individual level, Hitler the leader was created — created by a destructive collective population consisting of destructive individual persons.

Why, then, knowing that the same traits that caused the Holocaust are universally present in some form or another across individuals, would we be so arrogant as to believe that we aren’t capable of committing such disgusting acts? The shadow is a terrifying place, and encountering it means having some terrifying realizations; you realize that there is a part of you that identifies with the camp guards of Auschwitz. You realize that you are capable of malevolence. You realize that under no circumstances can you call yourself a good person. It is a horrifying thing to try and grips with, no doubt. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to grasp, but it’s important, because if you do, you might just be able to stop yourself from being malevolent. If you’re anything close to a decent person, you’ll see your potential for destruction and strive endlessly to never touch it. Of course, if a chaotic and neurotic person looks inside himself and sees malevolence, he just might be inclined to act upon it, but that’s a completely different problem. Using the assertions from before, if the disgust of “pathogens” (which stems from orderliness) is a cause of authoritarian political ideology at the individual level, and political leaders are created from the personality of the individuals, we can say quite confidently that malevolence and disgust absolutely starts at the objective level, and that “normal” individuals are just as much at blame for fascistic and authoritarian societies as the cult of personalities that represent them.

What do we do with this information, this knowledge that individual people are capable of untold acts of malevolence, no matter how good they present themselves to be? You use this information as enlightenment so that you might have another reason to not compound the suffering of life with your inherent depravity! Think about how you and the environment around you would look if you acted upon the elements of chaos within you for 3-5 years, and recognize that by doing so, you’ve made every recognizable problem with life infinitely worse. You can become more self aware and realize the consequences of your potential mistakes before even acting them out. You can improve the world around you marginally just by not being malevolent, and by being aware of your untold potential for destruction, you’ll have even more incentive to steer clear of evil and chaos. The unaware person is at an increased risk of lapsing into chaos because they are unaware that they are capable of being chaotic and aren’t prepared for it. The naivete of the “good person” ironically makes them more likely to commit a heinous act than a more self aware, perhaps calloused person.

In this game of life we’re all doomed to, we can still make things better, bit by bit. By recognizing how malevolence is born and how chaos spreads from level to level from the individual, we as a society will have more incentive to not act for evil, and we as people will be ever closer to self-realization, enlightenment, and maybe even peace. A noble goal to shoot for, no doubt — the road to doing so, however, is a literal walk through Hell.

The Catastrophe of Hyperagreeableness

Roman King | U.S.

In the previous essay, I briefly outlined what the Jungian shadow is, its role in determining if a person is capable of being morally sound, and its place in the overall personality of any given person. In short, the ability to confront yourself and come to grips with the self-selected negative traits your unconscious ego holds, and the ability to use it to build and reinforce your value system, is one of the biggest things that determines whether or not a person is truly “good”. To incredibly oversimplify the thesis, you must be aware of your shadow and you must be capable of controlling it in order to find some semblance of self-control or self-awareness in the incredibly disorienting and catastrophic phenomenon that is life on this planet. This is simply a vast oversimplification of the vast studies of Carl Jung, who believed that “…the less embodied [the shadow] is in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” (Psychology and Religion: West and East). There is almost infinitely more to discuss in regards to this fascinating topic, but one of the things I previously mention is the phenomena of people ignoring their shadows for one reason or another (I will mention these reasons in the piece below), and how it causes you to be left wide open for a catastrophic event to take place and potentially do some serious mental damage. It is truly tragic, and there is a symptom of not coming to grips with your shadow — hyper-agreeableness.

Jordan Peterson mentioned in one of his university lectures the difference between conscientious people and agreeable people. The conscientious person expects the work to get done and doesn’t give half a damn about the life behind the task at hand, whereas the agreeable person will be more likely to sympathize with the plights of the worker in regards to their personal work. In Peterson’s words, “…not one of these belief systems is more correct than the other; that’s why both exist.” Compassion is an incredibly important emotion, and it is a massive component to our concept of human empathy. The problem is when it is disingenuous, rooted in insecurity and an unhealthy dependence on gratifying the emotional needs of other people. There comes a time where agreeableness becomes hyper-agreeableness, and this is a problem in many ways.

Well, for one, you become incredibly easy to take advantage of. When you become so structurally weak, and when you grow so accustomed to living your life with the sole purpose of making other people feel gratified, you begin to lose touch with your own needs and your own wishes. If you ask a hyper-agreeable person what they want, they’ll usually have an incredibly hard time giving you a straight answer, and that’s because they are so accustomed to living for other people that they don’t even have a solid base to stand on anymore. It’s an incredibly sad phenomenon because the utility of their compassion is lost. On the inverse, doing this same experiment with a very grounded and conscientious person will generally yield the opposite result; they know exactly what they want and they will tell you exactly how they plan on getting it, whether it be a goal or a tangible object or whatnot. Hyper-agreeable people are not assertive whatsoever. They are invalids when it comes to the art of negotiation. Almost always, they will yield too much and end up in a position where they are set to gain zero benefits — and they will often have no problem with this whatsoever, not realizing that there could have been a higher amount of utility distributed if they had stood a bit more firm! Tyrants and master manipulators (of which there are many of in this wicked world) will, beyond any doubts, exploit the hyper-agreeable person for everything they can. This is not a good situation to be in.

Another, perhaps more wicked effect of hyper-agreeableness, is that in your baseless quest to try and make people happy, if you do so without a sense of yourself, you begin to lose the very positive traits you begin to espouse. The Carl Jung quote referenced in the expository paragraph of this essay fits perfectly here. It is very possible for the hyper-agreeable person to begin to develop a low self-esteem (due to their seemingly only redeeming quality being the ability to live for other people) and lose their very real positive aspects to their unconscious shadow. That’s a catastrophic problem, too, because as the shadow becomes darker, and the more it consumes, the scarier it is to confront. It is exponentially more morbid to confront a shadow that has already come away with your positive conscious traits (empathy, compassion, what have you) than to do so with a full arsenal, so to speak. The more the hyper-agreeable person continues on the path of baseless selflessness, the bigger chance they risk of losing themselves to other people, quite literally giving up themselves for the chance of making somebody else’s day a bit better. A noble goal, but a goal that in the end benefits nobody and decimates the hyper-agreeable person. There comes a point where you become less of an individual and more of a caricature that people have constructed you as; you become something less than a personality. You yourself become a strawman, built up of the weak epithets of gratitude you receive in return.

This can spiral into full-scale neuroticism and depression in the snap of a finger. After all, if you become nothing, and you begin to ask yourself the question of what you are, what can you answer with? The hyper-agreeable person might begin to realize the emptiness they have left themselves with. They have quite literally given up their entire soul to the world, and have received nothing meaningful in return. There is now nothing left but that damn shadow. At this point, you can’t even continue to try and keep up the pretense that you’re a good person because you’re so emotionally and psychologically drained that there’s no way you could fathom continuing to be empathetic and compassionate on the massive scale you were.

All of this is assuming that, again, you hadn’t done the responsible thing and confronted your shadow beforehand. Selflessness, genuine selflessness, must be done with a foundation. If you have a grip on yourself — that is, you’ve confronted yourself, you’ve begun the road to self-realization, you can then stand on two feet without being knocked over by the slightest gust of wind. You can outpour your compassion, your empathy, and your love for humanity, and you will still always know who you are. You can stand up for yourself in negotiations and ensure your own benefit so that you might live to love another day. If you can be a sturdy pillar, you can survive when people try to take you down and take advantage of your goodness. One of the ultimate quests of humanity is to try and mitigate the suffering of life, and a truly good person who knows who they are, what they are capable of, and where they stand, might stand somewhat of a chance to make a dent in the eternal cycle of existential crisis. A hyper-agreeable person might be able to do a good impression of a truly noble man, but it is temporary and bound to fail. Happiness is not like matter, of which there is a finite amount of it. Happiness is not something distributed from one person to another. The truly good person is able to grow positives out of positives and distribute their yields of good faith however they so desire. This is not the case with the hyper-agreeable person, who gives themselves up and doesn’t take care of themselves. You can only change the world to your liking if you yourself are mentally sound. Take care of yourself before you try and give yourself up to people who might not appreciate it.

From the Editor: What Makes a Person Good? – The Shadow

Roman King | U.S.

Humanity is an incredibly complex machination, and yet there is this tendency to take massively complicated systems and concepts and break them down into something within the realm of common understanding. Such is the tendency of human morality. The subject of morality is infinitely complex and philosophers and psychologists have argued for millennia about finding a place of an agreement; despite this, the average person can somewhat understand the difference between a “good” and “bad” person. The outward actions of a person determine what a society views them as; if a person acts on their positive conscience, they will be seen as a good person, and if a person acts on the dictions of their unconscious shadow, they will most likely be seen as a bad person. For many people, this is where the thought process ends, because most unenlightened people care for nothing but the instant gratification of the society they participate in. This is incorrect. Incredibly so, as a matter of fact. The measure of “goodness”, for lack of a better term, usually comes not from outward actions, but the levels of strife and turmoil within a person’s ego. The truth is much more complex and requires critical and uncomfortable thinking about the traits that make up your unconscious being.

Carl Jung was a notable Swiss clinical psychologist, and he wrote often on the “shadow”, the part of a person’s personality that the conscious ego does not identify with. Generally speaking, the shadow consists mostly of traits the conscious ego rejects, for whatever reason (fear of social ostracization, lack of utility, etc.). For most people, then, the shadow is where undesirable traits generally lay in the mind. Greed, jealousy, what have you. In some way, this is a necessary defense mechanism because most healthy people are at least capable of realizing that these traits aren’t something to actively express. The shadow serves a very important purpose and recognizing it is an important step to self-realization and self-determination. In Civilization in Transition, Vol. 10 of Carl Jung’s Collected Works, he writes “To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light.” If a person is truly to be enlightened, he must be familiar with his entire self. This isn’t as easy as it seems, however; this requires a person to confront his/herself, and this can truly be a frightening and horrifying thing to do because we don’t want to acknowledge that we are capable of this. It seems, to the unaware eye, or perhaps the fearful eye, that there would be nothing to gain from embracing their Jungian shadow; why would I want to have the dragon as a tangible part of my personality when I could simply be “good”? Well, for one, “good”, in this context, oftentimes has nothing to do with the mental stability of the self, and is nothing but an empty epithet to give the impression of positivity, but this isn’t even the largest problem with ignoring your shadow; the true issue is much darker and much more catastrophic than simply being shallow.

As much as we might not like to admit it, the shadow is a part of ourselves, and it will always be there. It will be there no matter how much we attempt to construct walls around it; despite any efforts we might not throw at it, it will always be a part of our personality and it will always be a crucial part of who we are as humans. It seems so obvious when you put it in these terms, but an object is not whole if it does not have absolutely all of its components. This is different from removing unwanted components from a machine that would function better without them; this is the acceptance of critical pieces of the personality that, no matter how undesirable you find them, must be tackled eventually. You ignore the shadow at your own peril. For whatever reasons you continue to block off the shadow, the less complete you are, and the less stable you are. The shadow is necessary because truly good people are able to turn into monsters in a dire crisis. A truly good person realizes these undesirable traits and their existence, comes to grips with them, and then — and this is the crucial thing — they reign them in and control them. They can take the shadow, which is often times a miserable, dark corner of the mind full of suffering, and utilize it. This increases mental independence, social independence, and the ability to grow as a person. Think of it in these simple terms; it is much better to have a pet dragon, a domesticated dragon that you can use to your own benefit than to be defenseless against the world. This is in direct contrast with the Good™ Person, who is nothing but a doormat and a puppet for other people’s narratives and rhetorics. I mentioned how ignoring your shadow is truly a catastrophic tragedy, and this is how. Think of a house. The house that you have pictured in your mind’s eye right now is your personality. Generally speaking, you want your house to be something you can live comfortably in. You want a clean, organized house; something that you can come to grips with and understand the chaos and suffering that is life. You might even want that house to look nice. You might want this house to have nice shades, a good looking roof, hedge work and bushes in your front yard. This is all well and fine, but what is a house without a foundation? What is a house without supports to keep it standing through disaster? If a tornado blows across your house, you want your house to be able to at least defend itself against the onslaught, if not capable of entirely surviving it. The shadow serves a similar role. I made a brief mention that life is suffering earlier, and I think there is truth to this assertion. This is significantly different than suggesting that life is meaningless; there is definitely meaning and lessons to be learned in tragedy — and if you subscribe to this, the meaning of life is to justify this suffering and to find a reason to continue moving forward by your own machinations. One of the only ways you will ever find this justification is to find a place to build yourself off of so that you might make it out the other end alive.

“Good” people, that is, people more concerned with appearing good or ignoring their shadow, might, for a long time, find some amount of success in being an agreeable yes-man. There comes real gratification with making other people happy, there really does. There will always come a point in time, however, where tragedy will strike, and that person will be completely knocked off of their feet. They will be handed a place to stand, and the odds are that it will be by a person or force that does not have their best interests at heart, and they will be forced to do something incredibly terrifying — they will have to confront themselves about who they are. They will have to confront their demons, and they will not be prepared for it. It very well might ruin them for an extended period of time. This isn’t to say that one should go about and adopt the shadow as their conscious ego; that’s a one-way ticket to sociopathy. You very well can confront your deep unconscious and look it in the eye without losing some of your conscious, positive good to it, and that’s where a person will begin to fully realize themselves and point themselves in a direction that can complete the human urge for fulfillment.

A person absolutely cannot be completely good if they refuse to acknowledge their own unconscious. A person cannot even begin to dream of being at peace with themselves, to begin the spiritual transition from crawling to walking, without actually being a whole person. Those that are nothing but empty, shallow caricatures of what the unintelligent masses want to see are exactly that; empty and shallow. There is absolutely nothing to gain from ignoring your shadow; all you do is put yourself at the mercy of existential crises, and that is a battle that you are absolutely better off not fighting if you can help it. Truly good people actually have a place to stand, and that place to stand is there because they have confronted themselves and acknowledged the existence of their undesirable traits. The question of whether or not a person is good isn’t one to be answered by cosmetic, outsider traits, because those public, cosmopolitan masks of goodwill people put up in order to fulfill the wants of other people are nothing but masks and are meaningless in answering the question of who and what a person is. Truly good people are stable beings, which is what translates into good action, which is what baseless “good people” try to impersonate and act like. To conclude, the true good person is that who has faced themselves, come to grips with the horrors within, and uses that uncouth knowledge to attempt and grow and better themselves as moral human beings.