Sophistry & Mutual Admiration Circles


Only a simpleton will not understand that in a “mutual admiration group” members generally degenerate themselves to a sophistry by exchange of pretended or exaggerated reciprocal praise. In this narcissist group, each member is mostly concerned with his own self-good. In philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, calls it self-downgrading way of making money, when [people] have to resort to sophism or sophistry. Applying the said yardstick in modern day affairs of life, we find near to all people, in most walks of life, make their fortunes of [good] careers, positions & status by expressing & extending false admiration to others. The “others” are those who, by virtue of their socio-economic-political-administrative-executive standing, elevate or help them elevate to those levels of the careers, positions & other socio-economic status which, by honesty & equity, they deserved not but, anyhow, where they are minting money & wielding power: the two most important “qualities” of people in modern times that carry “recognition” in the society.

The norm that “I sing the song of him, whose bread I eat” has always held good & is infallibly the case with most of the sophists & fake-admirers. But, as I say in the beginning, falseness is never one-sided-affair among these narcissist groups of “mutual admiration”. It is not only “bread-earner” in this “mutual admiration circle”, be he an employee or appointee or promotee or recipient of some worldly gain from the employer or appointer or promoter or giver, whatever, or in simple language, “bread-supplier”, who sings song of praise of the “bread-supplier”. The “bread-supplier”, be he employer, appointer, or any kind of benefit-giver, too sings song of praise of the “bread-earner” since it is he who actually makes “sales of praise” of the “bread-supplier” for temporal gains he gets by such “praises & sales”.

A friend of mine working as senior officer in a company with a religious bent of mind told me that “in the public sector mostly these sycophants carry the day. They gain by extending every kind of eulogized content of which the power holder neither has virtue nor in spirit deserves it, but these sycophants hardly know that they not only destroy their own Akihra but destroy the Akihra of the person whom they lure in false praise. Strange enough if you critically study, they suddenly fear Almighty Allah and start delivering sermons soon after their retirement”. Another friend working as GM in another company told me that “having worked in organised private sector for more than 30 years, I have firsthand experience of this phenomenon. Yes it does happen more often than not. People do “Chamcha Giri” for undue benefits and surpass deserving and dedicated fellow workers in getting promotions and increments. This prevails in other fields also. Selflessness is becoming a scarce commodity by each passing day”.

Yes both public and private sectors & all government departments are infected by this disease of reciprocal praise between two or more than two people of the same group of sycophants. Infallibly, it is “mutual benefit” that is underlying the exaggerated admiration between the members of these groups. Mutual benefit may assume any shape from appointments to promotions, accommodations to conferment of contract-works, Jugaad( Sufarish) to lending anything or product or service & suchlike.

Recently, in an organisation of ten thousand plus workforce, at a function, a relevant minister who was chief guest, unloaded heaps of praise on a “single” employee. Reason the employee concerned has been writing in papers encomium about the minister concerned. Likewise, in an Indian State, organizer of a training event for skilled entrepreneurs at its vadedictory session forgot that it was farewell session of the programme as he switched on a pre-written eulogy of a CA-guest of the event who was appointed President of the chattered accounts body. The latter returned in equal quantum with a basket of praise for the organizer. The astonished trainees were looking at, & asking, each other where was the vadedictory of the training programme?

Here small , petty, things of no or little signification, from the perspective of common understanding, are snowballed by the members into big achievements for reciprocal good or benefit by following the highest sub-standard of flattery & sycophancy. It is as shameful as multiple other mafias & criminal cartels that run the daily affairs of life in mentally enslaved backward communities like KASHMIRIS. It may not go well down the throats of many for their moral impropriety to call black as black & white as white.

The word “Narcissist” may appear to some somewhat bizarre out of context. But here we are talking of a group or circle of people who form rings to further each other’s interests by deceiving common masses & luring them believe in the things portrayed by them which do not exist in reality. Pretense is falsehood. It does not exist anywhere. It exists in imagination of the pretender only. Sophism, likewise, is shaped by the arguer to propagate his viewpoint on a subject according to his deliberate wrong assessment & presentation of facts. He consciously tries to gain support for a point which he knows is wrong. These mutual admiration groups are mushroomed in underdeveloped, conservative, conformist, socially & economically backward communities, though their scanty presence is also seen within developed countries.

M J ASLAM is Author, academician, storyteller & freelance columnist. Presently, AVP in JK Bank.


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