Fake vs. Real Virtue

One of the greatest moral tragedies of our time is that mere representations of virtue, “virtue signalings,” are supplanting actual virtue:

The virtue of mere words is replacing the virtue of solid action.

The virtue of appearing to do is replacing the virtue of doing.

The virtue of denouncing the obvious evil is replacing the virtue of asserting the subtle good.

The virtue of decrying the blatant, universally acknowledged evils is replacing the virtue of decrying the overlooked and forgotten ones.

The virtue of reaching a rushed judgment is replacing the virtue of reaching a sober and deliberated one.

The virtue of celebrating popular evils is replacing the virtue of celebrating unpopular goods.

The virtue of merely riding the winds of style and fashion is replacing the virtue of setting down one’s anchor and staying put against even the mightiest hurricane winds of an unrighteous and corrupted zeitgeist.

The virtue of appearing is replacing the virtue of being.

My life motto since college has been “Esse quam videri”—”To be, rather than to appear.” And the world today now objects that I refuse to make it “Videri quam esse.”

But in the immortal words of William Penn, “I owe my conscience to no mortal man.”

So “Esse quam videri” it shall be, which, no matter how imperfectly attained, shall be perfectly pursued.

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