Intellectual Integrity__ is a refinement of the concept as it applies to thought - establishing and upholding a set of principles or beliefs that are truly self-consistent or reflexive is quite rare in individuals and neigh impossible to achieve in a political organiztion.
Fortunately, achieving intellectual integrity is not a question of total sucess or total failure, it is a wandering path in which you can gradually ascend higher or slip lower, learning as you go and allowing others to challenge your thinking and help you avoid being a hypocrite - at least not on all thing at once. It is hypocritical to attempt to avoid hypocrisy always:
Hypocrisy is more or less the opposite of integrity, saying one thing and doing another, or judging others by a higher standard than is willing to follow. In some senses, hypocrisy is basic part of social life, because identifying hypocrisy is part of aspiring to a higher code of conduct than is currently in practice. Etiquette, diplomacy and peacemaking all require the teaching of ideals even if the one who teaches is a bad example. For instance, an alcoholic can speak to the value of sobriety, and this is hypocrisy, but, certainly, then, any flaws of the alcoholic on display do in fact contribute to the advancement of sobriety. So for the social function of hypocrisy to work, requires extraordinary honesty and admission.
Unfortunately, persuing intellectual integrity more diligently than others around you will tend to make you unpopular. It means revealing all your flaws, and not perpetuating the hypocricies of others. A zealot in persuit of integrity becomes very annoying for those who are less zealous.
On the other hand "catching up" and moving up from a lower standard of integrity than that held by the group will make you more popular.
There is no form of integrity that taken to extremes will make you liked, or well-paid - the world is just too riddled with hypocrisy for you to thrive. It may be integral to integrity that it reduces one's glamour.
Challenging the integrity of others is best done by a peer. Challenges made by persons of higher integrity to those of lower integrity is usually and reliably met with any combination of lies, hostility, abuse of authority, accusations of madness, denials, attempts to silence, exclude or oppress. Challenges made by persons of lower integrity are met with: counter-accusations, dismissal, condescencion, outrage, and withering criticism.
While difficult to achieve, individuals and instituions with higher integrity tend to outlast those with less. The advantages of integrity are alomost never evident in the short run, - it is always tempting to sacrifice integrity to make a quick success.
Integrity tends to beget integrity, and corruption tends to beget corruption.
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This essay on intellectual integrity was first composed by anonymous trolls. View the original "trollish" version here