I have sometimes been perceived as or even accused of having a superiority complex, possibly due to my intellectual nature and the threatening vibe this can project in social company.
Yet people as intellectually challenged as Daily Mail readers may also have an unconscious but nonetheless malignant superiority complex, looking down as they are wont to do daily on usual-suspect demographics such as people on welfare, immigrants, Muslims, non-heterosexuals and so on.
As a friend of mine notes on Facebook, rather than empathise with someone undergoing difficulties in their life, i.e. make the effort to put themselves in their shoes, people of a weak not to say mean-spirited nature may come to deny that these difficulties are objective and assert instead that the person is being unreasonable and 'difficult'.
It is perhaps hard to admit for conventionally-minded conformists that perhaps society is unfair and at times predatory, that people undergo misfortunes and hardship and that these phenomena reflect poorly on the society these conventionalists identify with and hold dear.
- What? Society could be wrong?
- You bet it can
As the great political philosopher Thomas Paine once said
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."And scapegoating discourse and politics are wrongs when they result in harm being caused to others.
All this to say superiority complexes - which are often born, ironically, of a deeper inferiority complex, a subconscious sense of intellectual or other form of inadequacy - are not the preserve of the intelligent or gifted.
In fact the reverse is often the case as one finds that many ungifted, ignorant people revel in arrogance and self-certainty whereas many gifted, intelligent people fall into self-doubt and excessive humility.
Addendum - An evidently disabused Daily Mail reader commented on this post saying "it must be nice to disappear up your lazy, superior arse while I work to provide for my family." He's right. It is nice. To be sure, I was the first to insult Daily Mail readers and as I wrote in Puritans as Self-Loathers?
"Should you choose to judge others, expect to be judged yourself, whether for your person or the fruits, ripe or rotten, you have brought forth into the world."I bear this person no ill-will for he is entitled to this opinion and look down on me, as flawed and contradictory as I am as any other. But I do thank him for so eloquently clarifying the hard-done by and resentful mindset of that newspaper's readership.