In Bangla, chalak denotes a person who’s able to pull the wool over someone. This person knows how to manipulate another person, or a group of people.
The term manipulation automatically makes me feel like it’s immoral. Manipulation is a bad thing to do. So I want to detect any tendencies I have to manipulate something and stamp them out.
But is this the right way to go about things? If you think about what separates us from animals, you’ll realize that the only fundamental difference is our ability at manipulation. We manipulate our minds into thinking of things that don’t exist, such as the past or the future.
Don’t be such an animal
Animals constantly live in the present, the past is just a tool to learn from to apply it to the present. A mouse that finds a safe haven once, remembers the safe haven when it needs it again. A man turns that safe haven into home. We create constructs, fabrications of reality that aren’t necessarily true, but they are true to us.
So it’s ok that we manipulate ourselves into creating useful fantasies. But it’s bad to do it for others, right? Especially for the benefit of your own gain with, possibly, loss to them. If you manipulate others to steal from them, of course that is obviously immoral.
But it’s also obviously stupid. Because if you were to manipulate everyone around you for their loss and your gain, then you’ll obviously have less to gain from them each time you go around manipulating them. That’s why something like “protection money” and bribes never work out in the long run.
The looters keep getting less and less because other’s keep having less to loot from.
But if you were to manipulate people so that they gain and you gain, that is noble. But it’s not seen as noble, not in the mainstream. It doesn’t matter how much a person has contributed to millions of people’s lives, that CEO is still a greedy manipulative bastard.
But that’s only 2/3rd of what they are. CEO’s are greedy manipulative bastards that:
- Manipulate others so that they gain, and other’s lose. Or,
- Manipulate others so that all gain, especially themselves.
So I’ll reform my judgement on manipulation. Manipulation itself isn’t immoral. It’s how you’re doing the manipulating, your ultimate goal for manipulation, that is what determines immorality.
Manipulation is ok if everyone gains something.