The man of self-confidence is often a compelling figure. Driven and focused, he is committed to bringing the world into line with his vision of how it should be. He may genuinely believe that his vision for the world is a good one, that the world will be a better place if he can shape it to his will, and sometimes he is capable of making changes for the better. But there is a danger to this attitude as well. Too often it turns out that the blustery self-confidence of such a person hides its own darker origins: it is really just arrogance combined with ambition, or worse yet a kind of self-delusion. As a result, when his plans fail, as they are bound to do at least some of the time, the self-confident man is often unable to recognize the failure. Stubbornly and inflexibly committed to his vision of how things ought to be, he has no ability to respond to the world as it actually is. The self-confident man believes that confidence is its own virtue; at the extreme, this kind of self-confidence can lead to fanaticism, as…in the monomaniac Captain Ahab that Melville portrays in Moby Dick. (5)

From All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly.

I have never trusted people who ooze self-confidence. I have always felt that they are hiding something, that underneath, they are not nearly as confident as they seem, that their seemingly endless supply of self-confidence and charisma is paper thin. Apparently I’m not the only one. This book was published in 2011: a full four years before our current electoral disaster began.

You can buy this book on Amazon, and you should. It’s a fascinating read:

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