Cowards and assholes
“Sometimes cowards are worst than assholes.”
—Kate Darling, Lex Fridman Podcast #329
Kate Darling shared this line in response to a question by Lex Fridman about Jeffrey Epstein infiltrating MIT.
That line is the most concise version of an opinion I’ve held for a long time.
Most recently I was watching the last season of For All Mankind. In the series William Lee Holler plays the son of a couple of astronauts named Jimmy Stevens. Jimmy’s apathy and disenchantment let him be easily manipulated into planning an attack on the very same institution his parents were part of.
Every time this character was on the screen I couldn’t stop from repeating, “here is the true villain of the series, the absolute worst of humankind.”
I am certain that much more dangerous than the leaders are the followers.
At least with a leader, you know where they stand. They are driven by a particular motivation. They might be sneaky about it but they have internal consistency about their convictions.
The followers are the people that lack all conviction. They are the people among us willing to compromise their personal values if they have something to gain. They will torture others and excuse themselves claiming they were following orders. They are the true danger and the ones to watch out for.
I fear the cowards more than I fear the assholes.