While the ego is important to help one to stand up for oneself and resist being trampled upon, the call to appease I, Me, and Myself goes beyond that. Being self-centred is even touted as a virtue by wrapping it in a shiny package labelled ‘self-love’. Little wonder that, ‘It’s my choice’, has become the clarion call of the ‘liberals’ — that title having already been sold to the masses as the coolest and most politically correct one to aspire for.
Given this scenario, it is no wonder that Ego has become a prime commodity to be marketed globally. Social media platforms, big biz and activist groups are among those who are engaged in this business, making a pretty buck in the bargain. The fact that too much individualism can isolate a person, seems to have escaped these votaries of Me, Me! They have also conveniently brushed aside the fact that most of one’s rights cease at the end of one’s nose, especially if they impinge on others’ rights.
One must hand it to them for studying all the psychological aspects of this ‘product’ before launching it. Based on these findings, a business model was created, and a veritable service industry carved out of it, with massive funding and celebrity endorsements. For instance, they found that a bloated self-perception aka the Ego, is the result of insecurities plaguing a person or group. They need constant validation from peers and even strangers, so what if it is only ‘Love’ or ‘Likes’ on their posts/pictures? The huge success of Instagram, Tik-Tok and its Indian avatars, Facebook and other social media forums stand testimony to this human weakness.
Also, being extremely fragile, the Ego feels perpetually threatened. In fact, an ‘enemy’ is a must for it to thrive — to feel bigger or better than. So, the slogans ‘Democratic Rights’ and cries of ‘It’s my choice’, came about, never mind if it meant creating new groups of ‘marginalised’ and ‘oppressed’ individuals. These groups needed something more than just social media to ‘market’ them.
Enter the Ego-Activists!
It is their job to identify and take up collective Ego and Identity issues. They then amplify them through protests and agitations, giving them a political and ideological flavour. These worthy personalities, especially the ones higher up in the hierarchy are no less than top corporate bosses in terms of their earnings and lifestyles, not to speak of the glamour, and power.
With everyone and sundry proclaiming ‘It is my choice!’ demanding sundry ‘rights’, the activists have their job cut out. All they need to do is to customise the global template to fit the issue at hand, building upon the often perceived or manufactured ‘marginalisation’ through carefully constructed narratives.
The next step is to identify an enemy, who need not necessarily be directly connected to the protests but can be the part of a larger agenda. The ego-activists are ably supported in their work by a well-oiled global ecosystem, which comprises of pop/film/sports stars, media houses, ‘journalists’, so-called intellectuals and academicians, and sundry public figures, who throw in their lot with the activists for a bit of fame and lucre, never mind that they have no stakes in the ongoing agitation. Sounds familiar?
To be fair, life for the Ego-activists is not easy, nor is their work straightforward. They need to be constantly on their toes, ready to contradict themselves, deny earlier stands, shift goalposts when cornered, change their stance at a moment’s notice and simply brazen it out when confronted with facts. Since their ecosystem comprises of some of the most powerful sections of global media, it provides them cover-fire and support as needed. Take a look at the different ‘opinions’ on two similar protests by a global media outlet. The obvious difference is the enemy figure, which can make them conveniently change their opinion according to the situation.
One day they would be fighting for the creation of new genders to specifically define the sexual orientation of yet another ‘marginalised’ group, and the very next day they would be vociferously dissing genders wholesale, when a member of their ecosystem is involved! As happened during the Tokyo Olympics. From championing 70+ (and counting) genders, they had to stand up for an athlete who had undergone sex-change. Were they fazed? Nah! They blithely chanted, ‘There is no gender!’ with the ecosystem taking up the refrain.
Who would have thought that the Thumbs-up emoji comes in various shades to pander to identity politics? And that people agonise over which one to use, lest it is deemed racist? I used to think that we simply had a choice of colours to pick from, till I saw this article. Little did I know that each colour had its own racial connotation. How these ego-activists complicate life for normal human beings!
Ironically, these very same proponents of extreme individualism, talk of a ‘global community’ and a world without borders! How they propose to achieve this when they are busy stoking collective egos and creating more and more ghettoised groups, is beyond comprehension. Whatever happened to being part of a family, society, community, nation?
Can one imagine a world which comprises of such ‘individualised’ global citizens, each proclaiming ‘It’s my right/choice?’ What sort of global community comprises of such a ragtag mix of individual groups, each demanding its own way? It is scarier since institutions of any form — starting with the family, law-enforcement agencies, and judiciary — are all redundant to the concept of such a ‘global community’ peddled by the Ego-Activists.
My head is reeling, trying to keep up with the new groups that keep cropping up like the heads of the Hydra, and worrying about not hurting the sentiments of one or the other. It would appear that every other person today belongs to some group that is being ‘oppressed’ in some way by the enemies designated by the ecosystem. Even if one is not willing to ‘buy’ this cool product, I feel it is safer to pick some ‘marginalised’ group to join and thus escape becoming an ‘enemy’! If there is none to fit your size, go ahead and create one. That is what Ego-activism is all about, isn’t it?
Additional Reading: WHY IS ‘I, ME, MYSELF’ NOT A GOOD THING?