Cynicism

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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.

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]
References in periodicals archive ?
Mirvis, The Cynical Americans (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989).
But at least if you're aware that cynical, hostile people tend to jeopardize their health by not taking care of themselves, you may be able to adjust your outlook and behavior in this one important area.
We probably were cynical at times but we've been soft at times as well.
Now call me cynical. "CYNICAL" (yeah cheers) However, isn't there an element of the wholly evident and obviously apparent about all of the above - that doesn't require some expensively assembled press campaign to enlighten me.
A GM spokesman responded on Tuesday with an unusually sharp rebuke, saying Romney has "clearly entered some parallel universe" and that it reflects "campaign politics at its cynical worst."
Turner said, 'The cynical greed of traders asking their colleagues to falsify their Libor submissions so that they could make bigger profits has justifiably shocked and angered people, in particular when we are facing hard economic times provoked by the financial crisis.'
What a benefit to Coventry for having honest politicians instead of cynical, expedient ones.
Perhaps it is because so many are adopting the cynical view that the world is in such a morally corrupt state.
The Parliament of Kyrgyzstan on Friday passed amendments to the Law on State Symbols of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Administrative Code initiated by Alisher Mamasaliev, parliamentarian from Ak Jol party.These amendments pursue two goals: they seek to provide utmost freedom in use of the national flag and at the same time they tighten responsibility for insulting the state symbols."These amendments aim to shape a respectful attitude to the national anthem and flag, to prevent their tearing off, writing cynical notes, making cynical pictures and burning," he said.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne branded the pre-budget measures a "desperate, cynical stunt from a desperate and weak Prime Minister".
A crowd of us cynical old punters at the Stow would like to know how this can be achieved.