Cynicism

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cynicism

 

a nihilistic attitude toward the general culture, especially toward morality and the idea of human dignity and sometimes toward the official dogma of the prevailing ideology; it is expressed in the form of mockery.

Cynicism in behavior and beliefs is characteristic of people striving to achieve their egoistic goals by any means. On the social plane the phenomena of cynicism originate from two sources. First, there is the “cynicism of force,” which is practiced by the exploitative ruling groups who realize their power and self-seeking goals by openly immoral methods, including fascism and the cult of violence. Second, there are the rebellious moods and actions (for example, vandalism) of various social strata, groups, and individuals who are experiencing the oppression of injustice and inequality and the ideological and moral hypocrisy of the exploitative class, but who see no way out of their situation and thus find themselves in a state of total spiritual bankruptcy. Communist morality opposes cynicism in all of its manifestations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cynicism

See also Pessimism.
Antisthenes
(444–371 B. C.) Greek philosopher and founder of Cynic school. [Gk. Hist.: NCE, 121]
Apemantus
churlish, sarcastic advisor of Timon. [Br. Lit.: Timon of Athens]
Backbite, Sir Benjamin
sarcastic would-be poet and wit. [Br. Lit.: School for Scandal]
Bierce, Ambrose
(1842–1914) acerbic journalist for San Francisco Examiner; nicknamed “Bitter Bierce.” [Am. Lit.: Hart, 77]
Diogenes
(412–323 B.C.) frustratedly looked everywhere for an honest man. [Gk. Hist.: Avery, 395]
Ferdinand
rogue drifter views all his experiences with profound cynicism. [Fr. Lit.: Journey to the End of the Night in Magill I, 453]
Lescaut
assured Geronte sister will succumb to his money. [Ital. Opera: Puccini, Manon Lescaut, Westerman, 346]
Pandarus
jaded about good graces of women. [Br. Lit.: Troilus and Cressida]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Witteveen, perspectivism is not relativism, opportunism or cynism: `The perspectivist procedure leads to comparison of arguments and it ends in a choice for one of the positions visited' (Witteveen, 2000, p.
The study attacks the complacency and cynism that has allowed two million children to die in armed conflicts in the past decade, and three times as many to be seriously injured or permanently disabled.
and JAMIESON, Kathleen Hall (1997): Spiral of cynism. New York, Oxford University Press.