I was sitting in my favourite armchair with a warm brandy musing on the origins of cynicsm when I was interrupted from my reverie by Frith, our faithful retainer, who inquired if I would like another brandy.
"I think I'm happy with this one, Frith."
"Pardon my saying so, sir, but my young nephew mentioned he might be interested in joining the Diogenes club."
"Is he suitable Frith?"
"Oh I am sure I couldn't say sir, but he does have strong views and passionately believes in a number of causes, sir."
"Then he won't do for here Frith," I answered with some conviction. What makes a person a true Diogenarians is not strong views. The true cynic is defined, not by what they believe in, but by what they don't believe in."
"I see, sir"
"That's why young people are hardly suited to the Diogenarian cause. You see when you are young and wild you believe all sorts of things. But as you get older, one by one, those beliefs drop away until you are more defined by the things you don't believe than the things you do. That Frith is the definition of a true cynic.
"I see sir," said Frith and departed
Relaxing back in my armchair I picked up a pen and paper and started to jot down, just as a matter of interest the first things that came to mind of the many that I realised after a mature reflection I no longer believe in and I thought I would share will you for the record my own personal anti-creed for the age. (Other Diogenarians will no doubt have their own and are free to add to the list)
1. I don't believe we are over the worst of the crash
More money has been spent on bailing out the banks from this crash than all the money spent on World war II, the entire NASA space programme and the great crash of 1929 - put together. And that took ten years to get over.
2. I don't believe we live in a democracy.
Democracy has to be more than just being able to choose between two or three very similar things once every five years.
3. I don't believe there should be laws against offending people.
The right penalty for offending people is repudiation, not 3 years in prison.
4. I don't believe diversity is a good thing in and of itself.
Diversity without competence is useless.
5. I don't believe in dyslexia (or discalcula or dispraxia or dis....)
Giving something a name doesn't mean you can be excused from spelling, or adding up - or that you are not responsible for it, just like everyone else.
6. I don't believe in different learning styles.
Visual, auditory, kinesthetic - we all learn in each of these ways and it muddled thinking that focuses on just one
7. I don't believe we are responsible for the errors of our fathers
We are not responsible for the slavery of 200 year ago, and I don't believe we need to apologise or be made to feel guilty about things that others have done.
8. I don't believe freedom of speech is only for those who we agree with.
Freedom of speech must be for everyone or it is not true freedom.