"Trump is the reason why the world is going to come to an end"
If you spend any time online — or offline, for that matter — you’ve heard arguments like this. They are the result of a force more insidious than pessimism. It’s naive cynicism: a wide-eyed, credulous, often gleeful embrace of despair, an eagerness to believe the worst.
“People can change the world for the better — not always, but sometimes. Naïve cynics close their eyes to this possibility. They accept defeat so that they can pat themselves on the back for being right when they are defeated. That doesn't make them wise. It makes them rubes.”
The naïve cynics list all the thing wrong with the world, and pitch all the problems at extremes, indulge in sweeping generalisations with respect to politics – all governments are corrupt, all politicians are liars; the media – lies, cover-ups, conspiracies; the economy – all exploitation and ecological degradation, poverty, famine; institutions – bureaucrats. You name any area of human civilisation, and these masters of cynicism and suspicion will tell you why they are corrupt, violent, exploitative.