I don’t mean
the proletariat but the hypocrites
October 1, 2004
Little people. All my life little people have hurt me. Now, don’t get me
wrong, these people are not necessarily physically small -- sometimes they are
anything but. Nor are they little in the economic sense of the term as in “petit
bourgeois,” or “menu peuple,” no, in fact their smallness,
their littleness is deeply hidden behind either muscle and brawn or books and
accomplishments or riches and achievements.
Regardless of the layers that might bury their littleness, little
people eventually reveal their littleness in a big way. It is in
their nature to do so. Trying to compensate for their hidden littleness
they bury it deep and ignore it and set about to prove to themselves
and others that in fact it never existed. But since it does exist,
their littleness, sooner or later it wins. It erupts in one big
blast of meanness.
The little person has a small soul. Because of some untruth that
they feel like they have to prescribe for themselves, they suffer
from the consequences of not being true to their natures. This
shrinks their spirit, their soul. Often these people can be outwardly
happy or successful because the more “happy masks” they
have, the more they can hide themselves behind their accomplishments
and not face or betray the truth about themselves.
You see this often in the immigrant’s mentality. The way
he/she likes to forget his/her roots and blend in with society.
In other words what the African-Americans call the “Uncle
Tom syndrome”. In individuals it happens when they leave
the truth of who they are, the core of their soul, and live in
exile: in a reality that they have created to fit societal constructs
Now, you can find little people, people who are not themselves,
people who pretend to be other than they are, everywhere. But in
totalitarian societies they abound.
In a place like Iran little people thrive. Because the system
of rule is based on the triumph of the little people. I don’t
mean the proletariat but the hypocrites. Those who vote so they
can have the government’s stamp on their i.d so that they
can win the approval of the authorities and make a buck while doing
so. Those who appease and conform rather than leave, resist, or
There are two kinds of hypocrites. Ones who do it for profit.
Those hypocrites I call the practical kind. They are pragmatic
hypocrites, ones who know themselves but choose for the purpose
of efficacy to pretend to be other. Let's say Clinton or most politicians
are like that. The other kind, the real little people, are not
The real little people have lied to themselves
for so long that their hypocrisy has reached pathological proportions.
They have been hiding from their own truth for so long they can
no longer even see themselves clearly--their truth is not something
they live with. They hide it until it erupts sometimes with grave
The real little people can actually be mean. They cannot forgive
or forget easily. They are sensitive towards what others think
and say because they are so unsure of themselves, their masks.
Now, if you think back to your school days, you will remember them:
the bullies who cried quicker than the others if something did
not go their way. If you think of the guy behind the passport counter
who gave you a hard time just because he seemed to be enjoying
it, you will see it, or, the rich friend who wallows in conspicuous
consumption but is actually really miserly. The world is full of
little people behind big people masks.
It is perhaps obvious to my patient readers that I am trying
to take something personal to a universal level in order to empty
myself. Surely, I stand guilty of that. But I am truly, like most
people of the pen, trying to reap some lesson from this putting
of feelings into words.
Having been hurt again by a little person, I ask myself what
is it that draws me to them and them to me? I realized they, being
hypocrites of the pathological kind, have a problem facing themselves.
They are initially attracted to me because they admire me for being
myself. They feed off of my confidence like some cure-all for their
own weak souls. I become attracted to them because I have this
need to feed people. The hungrier they are the better.
When I can
help someone it is empowering. They often tell me how they like
my open spirit and honest nature. But, eventually, they come
to resent it. The closer I come to them, the more I see into their
soul, the smaller they become. The smaller they become the meaner
they get until their littleness erupts into one big burst of
and ends up hurting me. Me being hurt makes them feel big again.
And so on.
goodbye to spam!