Your New Ideology Probably Won’t Make You Better

“There’s no cure for being a cunt.” – Bronn, Game of Thrones

It’s no new insight to say that the loudest proponents of virtuous utopia often lack virtue themselves. I only want to confess to the same sin.

I have changed my mind on many things at least a couple of times (per thing) by now, and at 24 I’m bound to change it again. And each time I have changed my mind and my position, I have soon enough looked back on my previous beliefs with scorn and disgust. Worse still, I have looked back on my former fellow believers with scorn and disgust, too.

In each of these times, the content of my beliefs may change dramatically, but the content of my character changes little – at least insofar as pride is concerned. I may have “the right ideas” but I am an ass about it. My ass behavior is usually limited to internal narrative and thoughts – I’m rarely rude out loud – but it still shows a corruption in me.

Repetition of this mistake in the course of changing my beliefs may show how little virtue I have, or at least how susceptible I am to this weakness in human nature. But it does have one positive effect: with each time, I become a little more transparent to myself, and the “throwing under the bus” seems a little more treacherous and unjustly proud.

With any luck, this will make me more careful, more humble, and more skeptical, which in a world of ideologies are virtues to seek.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at