No Loyalty

A lot of time has passed since I last blogged here, and a lot has happened since, but this post is not about that, and it would probably be somewhat pointless trying to bring my readers up to speed considering that I barely even have readers at this point. This will change, but in the mean time I just want to put these thoughts out there.

If I’ve learned anything in life, including the past few years and months it is that the only thing or person one needs to be loyal to is the self. Whatever so called “loyalty” is exercised towards other persons it is only as a result of, not in contradiction to, loyalty to the self. If you are loyal to someone else without being loyal to yourself you are just depersonalizing yourself. Not only is this ultimately self-destructive, it is actually dishonest. If your loyalty to others doesn’t come from the core of what you are as a person then you’re just pretending.

An interesting thing about being loyal to nobody, but yourself is that it is a great way to motivate yourself to try and accomplish things. Say you have a job in which you have to do certain things you don’t quite like doing or aren’t particularly passionate about. If you keep thinking about the job as something you just have to do for someone else in order to earn a paycheck, it probably wouldn’t make you feel very good. You’re still essentially stuck being someone elses servant in exchange for survival.

But there’s a different way of looking at it. You could think of the job you do as something you do for yourself, not for your boss. Instead of thinking of your boss as an authority, you can think of him or her as someone you are using to get what you want. Suddenly the center of gravity is yourself, as it should be, because only you can be truly in control of your life. You can then go further with this and devise an entire plot, a life’s plan, for what you want to accomplish in life and how does that job help you do that. You are no longer a servant, but the master. You are no longer helpless, but powerful. You are no longer a passenger. You are in the driver’s seat.

There are other examples. Take for instance something called “brand loyalty” which often goes so far as to have people fight each other verbally over which brand is better (Mac vs. PC, PS3 vs. Xbox vs. Wii etc.). It shouldn’t be hard to step back a little and see just how stupid this is. Here you are wasting your time and energy promoting someone elses product, someone elses vision, doing someone elses bidding. If you had a brand of your own every other brand you associate yourself with, every tool is there in service of propping up your own brand.

No matter in which situation you find yourself in life, you are the boss. There are only two things in existence as far as you are concerned: you and the universe with everything in it that you care about. The universe is yours to mold with as much available power as you’ve got.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should manipulate each other into submission, try to make each other servants. Everyone should be the boss, and if this sounds unsustainable, think about honesty again, because that’s all it comes back to. A person who is not the boss of his or her own life is in conflict with the self, and that’s dishonesty. It’s denying something that makes you who you are. If you are not right with yourself how will you be right with others? Your relationships will be based upon a fake or half image of who you are, not on who you really are.

Everyone being the boss doesn’t mean nobody ever doing anything for anyone, even for free. It just means that when you do something for someone you do it because you truly want to, because it serves your interests too, not because you think you have to. Conversely, when someone does something for you, you will likely feel a lot better if he or she did it because she really wanted to instead because she thinks she has to! See how this works!

So have no loyalty. Ditch servitude in absolutely all facets of your life. Dream up what you want to accomplish and go for it no matter what.

I know I’m trying to, there’s just no other way.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 4:46 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through this RSS 2.0 feed. You're welcome to leave a response, or a trackback from your own site.

  • Joy

    Hello, I happened to stumble across this blog and I'm glad I took the time to read the info posted here. I am a Manager and lately, I've been dealing with a former employee who has returned to the workplace "to help us out". Within seconds of their arrival, my boss set me aside like yesterday's french toast. I've gone above and beyond for months, and the feelings of inadequacy are just too much. This guy arrives on the scene and it's like the second comming of Christ. The way this blog described a new way of looking at loyality opened my eyes, and I'm going to keep it in mind upon my return to work tomorrow.

  • Jeremy

    I never liked the word 'boss' when working for someone else than myself. If you have a job and 'become more loyal to yourself', the next logical step would be to setup your own company and become your own 'boss'.

  • ribe

    That is the King part of you, speaking from you. Like it :)

  • memenode

    Thank you. :)

  • Will Spencer

    I love the post. "Loyalty" is really nothing more than a mental short-cut writ large. If someone behaves well towards us, we tend to reciprocate. If they keep behaving well towards us, we keep reciprocating. Eventually we fall into a habit and call it by the fancy name of "loyalty." Most likely Nietzsche would write that loyalty is part of a slave morality. Actually, what did Nietzsche write about loyalty? Let's see… "Out of obstinacy he holds fast to a cause of which the questionableness has become obvious, he calls that, however, his "loyalty." Not exactly resounding endorsement, Nietzsche preferred to make each decision atomically.

    Instead of loyalty, however, your post might have centered on altruism. Loyalty (at least as described above) at least has some sense that at some level what you are doing is, or at least was at one time, in your own best interests. Altruism, on the other hand, denies the self-interest of an individual and claims that we actually take actions with no benefit to ourselves. A truly altruistic act has never been observed in practice, but theoretical examples abound.

    I will save myself effort by stealing a snippet from Wikipedia here:

    Friedrich Nietzsche held that the idea that to treat others as more important than oneself is degrading and demeaning to the self. He also believed that the idea that others have a higher value than oneself hinders the individual's pursuit of self-development, excellence, and creativity.

    Ayn Rand was more clear, stating "If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject."

    In summary: While loyalty can be defended on the grounds of decision making efficiency, altruism is a dangerous myth which must be disbelieved in order to advance as an individual.

  • memenode

    I absolutely agree. Altruism seems to be an extension of the common thinking about loyalty, and "slave morality" is not a bad description of both.

    All this deny-yourself-for-others stuff is quite unsustainable, and I think part of many major fundamental problems we have in the world today. People who defend it seem to be blind to the fact that every individual has the self, so when we encourage self-denial we effectively encourage society-wide diminishment. It's like deliberately throwing a monkey wrench into an otherwise naturally functioning system, which would be based on reciprocal win-win relationships. Every win-lose relationship, whether the loser is yourself (deliberately or not) or someone else, is like a cancer cell in an otherwise healthy body.

    Of course, living in a society such as it is, it seems required that we explain that being against altruism isn't being against such things as helping other people, or charity. It just has to be done because you genuinely want to help, or be charitable, because such behavior actually fulfills yourself, not out of pressure of some kind of an obligation, or because you expect others *must* do the same for you (and will rebel if they don't). Sad thing is, many people say they help out of sheer goodness of their heart, never expecting anything in return, yet get bitter if they perceive nobody being so willing to be charitable towards them.

  • Will.Spencer

    People who believe that they are acting out of sheer goodness are either self-delusional or completely irrational.

    I do know a fellow who occasionally stops taking his medication and wanders around giving away all his money and possessions. He's completely irrational.

    Anything short of that and the person is simply self-delusional. They are saying "I get nothing at all from helping people", when in actuality they are ignoring the real benefits they receive in terms of self-esteem, entertainment, etc…

    I help people all the time, because I enjoy it. I don't lie to myself and say that it's because I am a good person. I like helping people succeed because I enjoy watching people succeed. I am making myself happy and they are only tools to achieve this goal.

  • Sudie

    A large percentage of of what you state is astonishingly accurate and it makes me wonder why I hadn't looked at this in this light previously. This particular article truly did switch the light on for me personally as far as this specific subject matter goes. Nonetheless there is actually one position I am not too comfy with and whilst I attempt to reconcile that with the core idea of your issue, allow me see just what the rest of your readers have to say.Well done.

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