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Long Read of the Week: I. Don’t. Care. by Jack Donovan

I. Don’t. Care.

These three magic words could end so many arguments.

Most appeals in the name of social justice rely on an underlying assumption of universal altruism. They assume that you care if something bad happens to anyone, anywhere, and advise you to take some sort of action to ease or prevent their suffering.

People react by questioning whether or not that stranger, somewhere, is really suffering, or if they are suffering any more than anyone else. They examine the circumstances of the alleged suffering and the motives of the people bringing the alleged suffering to light.

They argue about the details and the proportion of the suffering and point out their own allegedly comparable suffering or the suffering of some person or people who are allegedly suffering more.

Once you’re arguing, they’ve already got you.

Once you’re arguing, you’ve agreed that you could care, or would care –that you should theoretically care –” given satisfactory evidence and argumentation.

But what would they say if you stopped pretending to care at all?

There would be no point in arguing about the details.

Of course, as normal humans, we can always imagine ourselves in another human’s position. We can empathize with others –that’s what makes movies and novels work. But we can’t really care about the suffering of every single man and woman on the planet. The idea that we should is insane and inhuman. So much of what people say they care about is just emotional pornography that can springboard them into an acrobatic display of moral and political posturing.

I see all of this propaganda online telling me what is NOT OK, and how I am supposed to feel about strangers and other groups of people. If they get me to agree that I care about these strangers and their unhappiness, I’m supposed to accept responsibility for that unhappiness and do whatever I can to alleviate it.

This is all manipulation — a political plucking of one bit of human suffering out of an unimaginable expanse of human suffering, all to serve this agenda or that one.

Some kid in Africa probably got his head sawed off with a butter knife while some chick named Shoshana experienced the nightmare of catcalling in New York City. No one cared, because they weren’t told to care. Given their perceivable social class and sex, the guys who were expressing their admiration for Shoshana have probably experienced far more brutality than being propositioned for sex. And no one cared when it happened. Shoshana is just the squeaky wheel who wants to be lubricated with your tears.

If we really cared about everyone, we would never even register feelings or microaggressions or First World problems because our brains would be blown out from watching Third World ultraviolence. We’d be watching and liking and sharing nonstop videos of prison rapes and basement executions and reading stories about sex slavery and child prostitution. We’d be OUTRAGED at the injustice of it all, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Those things are happening right now and they have more or less been happening at varying levels for all of human history.

(If violence is actually decreasing worldwide, as Steven Pinker suggests, then it is probably in part because due to high incarceration rates and widespread fear of sanctioned violence threatened by increasingly omnipotent surveillance and police states in the First World. And omnipotent surveillance states are NOT OK.)

The reason that people care about the same thing at the same time — whatever today’s outrage or viral video is — is that we have all have to pick and choose. We decide, if not consciously then by our choices, that one person’s suffering is more important than another. Who we — or maybe you, because I’m not talking about me here — decide to care about is almost completely arbitrary. Whatever human tragedy passes our eyes or ears.

I don’t care what happens to everyone, everywhere.

I don’t care what happens to strangers.

It’s an admission that sounds barbaric and unspeakably taboo.

It’s taboo because people have been conned into believing that they are supposed to do something they can NEVER do — care equally about everyone, all around the world.

I care about what happens to my friends and my family and my tribe. I care, and even at this point, I am using care very loosely, about the kind of people I generally like, respect, or support. People who are like me, or who are like the people I like.

When someone registers an opinion or tells me I am supposed to care about something, if I am even thinking about caring, I look them up. I ask myself if I would be interested in what this person had to say if they were sitting in the same room with me.

Sometimes, I would. Usually, I would not. I probably wouldn’t even have a drink with them, or give them a single moment of my time.

If they’re telling me that something bad happened to them, I have to admit that in most cases I probably don’t care. Why should I care about the suffering of this stranger instead of that one?

If they’re telling me that I should change, I ask, “why?,” and if the only answer is to theoretically prevent the alleged and future suffering of some other group of people I don’t know or care about… then… my answer is: “Why bother?”

I’ll change to some extent to gain honor in the eyes of men I respect, personally or in the abstract, but why would I change to prevent the unhappiness of some stranger?

This idea that we are all each other’s shepherds, that we are all responsible for the happiness of all humankind, is paralyzing nonsense. At best, it keeps men busy arguing about things over which they have almost no control. At worst it makes men vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation by people who have already decided that they are disposable rubes — like naive retirees giving away their savings to charity grifters or high-living evangelists. Men end up giving away everything worth having to people who are ideologically incapable of even acknowledging their sacrifice.

I’m not encouraging people to stop caring about anyone, I’m encouraging them to stop trying to care about everyone. If you say you love everyone, you don’t really love anyone. Love is a choice, a discriminatory act.

If you don’t pick your team — if you aren’t willing to draw a line between who you care about and who you don’t, between “us” and “them” — then you’ll be like all of these other suckers who care about whoever and whatever they click on every morning.

Care passionately, but discriminately.

And if you don’t really care, then say it.

“I don’t care.”

It’s simple but powerful.

It’s liberating, but also dangerous and heretical.

The idea that we are all in this together and are working in good faith to solve the world’s problems is an illusion that traps us in a crisscrossed, impenetrable web of synthetic yarn. If you pull that fuzzy pink string — that completely unwarranted assumption of universal goodwill — civil society collapses into a Hobbesian war of all against all where no one trusts anyone.

When free from our attachments to everyone, everywhere, we find ourselves adrift in a staggering, confused mass of drooling and covetous humanity, we can make sense of it all and find our bearings only when we form discriminatory alliances and new tribes built on trust, common interests and mutual admiration — instead of being bound by the great lie of love for all neighbors.

I. Don’t. Care. by Jack Donovan

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper October 2, 2021, 8:41 AM

    “I don’t care what happens to strangers. It’s an admission that sounds barbaric and unspeakably taboo.”
    Only to whiney pisswilly’s.
    My care radius starts at the skin surface and extends about 1/4 inch in all directions simultaneously.
    If it ain’t inside my radius I don’t give a shit.

  • Thud Muffle October 2, 2021, 10:25 AM

    For me I don’t care has morphed into I.D.G.A.F. But I’m 82 so sssss awl gud.

    • James ONeil October 2, 2021, 12:49 PM

      I was 82 until yesterday and I didn’t G.A.F.
      Today, a year older & a year wiser, I still D.G.A.F and I realize it don’t make no nevermind.

  • Wildman October 2, 2021, 11:16 AM

    Should be printed up on business cards to be handed out when accosted by the aggrieved, the forever victims and the social revolutionaries.

  • Jewel Atkins October 2, 2021, 12:52 PM

    My pity glands are dried up, desiccated husks of spent and squandered empathy. I have IDC immunity.

  • EX-Californian Pete October 2, 2021, 2:31 PM


    That word makes me nauseous.

    While wearing my “NRA RECRUITER” cap in a Chico bar years ago, an attractive but libtarded college-age girl walked up and told me it was wrong to wear the cap in public, that it caused her discomfort.

    She said it was an “act of microaggression” against her, so I did what I figure was the right thing to do.
    I said “Oh, I’m soooooo sorry, please accept my MICRO-APOLOGY.”
    She cussed me like a sailor and left.

    • Mike Austin October 2, 2021, 5:13 PM

      An excellent response. Well done sir!

    • ghostsniper October 2, 2021, 6:24 PM

      communist females have bigger ballz than communist males.

      • gwbnyc October 3, 2021, 1:56 PM

        hairier, too…

  • Dirk October 2, 2021, 7:52 PM

    Well,,,,,,,Almost cut my hair, getting kinda long! Dam freak flags.
    What a day, I attended aVintage Motocross race today, again tomorrow. As I was leaving Crosby Stills Nash was wide open on the biggly outdoor stereo. Pretty much everybodys fifty or older. I could help but notice heads bobbing to the beat, a few wife’s shaking it, smiles everybody getting into-this absolute classic tune.

    In my humble opinion their is nothing hotter then fifty or sixty yr old wife’s who get it, they just carry themselves with confidence. I dig it. Why would a guy bother with some young head game when mature women who know what’s up are present.

    A fitting finish to an action packed day. Old men on 60s, and mid 70s motorcycle s absolutely flying around the natural terrain track.

    While I have thirty ish, bikes, I picked up a British 1973 370 AJS, o so British, separate transmission,they handle oooo so well. 45 HP of point and go fun between your legs.

    Did have to “ issues” one friend went thru a barbed wire fence, tearing the heck out of his left are, worse then it looked. Deep cuts but I got it cleaned and closed up with butterfly bandaids. Think he will be fine, Tetanus shots will be required. Guy rides a BSA B50. Dusty cross country course got him.

    Another friend put his foot peg there is MX boot, that got an artery, a quick thinking 50 yr old wife assessed the issue, pulled her belt and made tourniquet below Charlie’s knee. EMS did a fantastic job once they got their.


    Been at this for thirty five years now.

    • EX-Californian Pete October 3, 2021, 1:47 PM

      You have collected 30-ish bikes, and prefer Brit bikes?

      You don’t have a 1950’s Ariel Square Four you’d like to part with, (for a proper price) do you?
      Please let me know- I’m dead serious on owning one someday.

      • Mike Austin October 3, 2021, 3:37 PM


        “Why would a guy bother with some young head game when mature women who know what’s up are present.”

        I got that. I believed that. Until I met a 20 year old model. I was 62. Was with her five years. The stories I could tell! But I won’t.

        • Dirk October 4, 2021, 8:17 AM

          I don’t have any Ariels, several were raced yesterday.

          Mike,,,,,sorry brother, I’m into stunning older women, whom can suck the chrome of a trailer hitch! A skills set built over a life time of , well trailer hitch’s.


          • Mike Austin October 5, 2021, 2:41 AM

            I have known both. Enjoyed the company and conversation of both. But now I prefer solitude. I can’t imagine at 68 going through all the romance, taking all the time, using all the energy, to do again what I have done countless times. It wears me out just to imagine it.

            I am what a Brazilian girlfriend of mine called me many moons ago, “the freest man she ever knew.” I will not surrender that title.

  • Terry October 2, 2021, 8:06 PM
  • Francis W. Porretto October 3, 2021, 2:14 AM

    Funny how similar in function altruism is to induced, undeserved guilt, eh?

  • Steve in PA (retired/recovering lawyer) October 3, 2021, 3:07 AM

    It’s as if we have extrapolated out “The Tragedy of the Commons” into all areas of human existence. Truth is, humans have a limited capacity to exhibit true “caring” to only a limited circle of other humans, beginning with kin groups and expanding outward in ever-diminishing ripples until disappearing, like a rock tossed into a still pool of water. Anyone who demands that we “care” for or about people outside the closest ripples is merely a poseur, a charlatan whose motives are untrustworthy. Those people are either in it of the money or the prestige or some other deeply disturbed psychological motive. The amount of control they exert of others with their hand-wringing harangues is what drives them, rather than any true “caring” or concern for their fellow man. Think about Fauci, Thunberg and any other “Karen” (both female and male) whose acquaintance you have unfortunately made, and you’ll see it’s true. A purported love of mankind is always a facade behind which a hate, fear and loathing of other people reigns supreme.

    • Mike Austin October 3, 2021, 3:40 PM

      “A purported love of mankind is always a facade behind which a hate, fear and loathing of other people reigns supreme.” Yep.

      A “love of mankind” has been the reason behind the greatest slaughters in History. It was “for their own good.” Damned ingrates.

      • Dirk October 4, 2021, 9:35 AM

        Mike,,,,,,, I fear nothing, nobody. I’m living right!Vi

        • Mike Austin October 5, 2021, 2:44 AM

          The only thing I fear is Hell. Imagine spending an Eternity with the likes of Biden, Clinton and their damned ilk.

  • waitingForTheStorm October 3, 2021, 6:15 AM

    When any shyster tells me I have to care about the teeming masses, I ignore them and walk away. The seemingly endless phone calls for one group or another are either ignored, added to the stop call list, or hung up on; they have all morphed into automated AI dialogs anyway. And all the while, these hustlers line their own and their family’s pockets while stealing the willing blind.

    My compassion to my immediate family and close friends, and then only as long as it does not endanger my nuclear family. I don’t apologize. I am not responsible for the situation those folks are in and I do not owe them anything.

  • gwbnyc October 3, 2021, 1:53 PM

    **Once you’re arguing, they’ve already got you.**

    -aye, that. mark it well.

  • Jeff Brokaw October 3, 2021, 2:16 PM

    Social media, the Internet, and cable news (in reverse order chronologically) have made all of this exponentially worse.

    Everything in the world feels like it’s happening in our own neighborhood — not just bad for our mental health, it also contributes to “I need to save the world” activism.

    The world used to seem like such a big place when news took many hours to reach us — now it has gotten substantially smaller with news reaching us instantly (turn OFF notifications, people) but somehow it’s only bad news that reaches us quickly. Screw that.

    Nearly *all* of what passes for “news” is toxic lies and bullshit specifically designed — by algorithms, YAY — to produce fear in us because they know that delivers clicks and ratings. I wish more people could learn to see through it for what it is, and have an ounce of self-respect, and say “NO” to fear and manipulation. If you have to choose, being uninformed (and content) is far better than living in fear, poisoned by people who manipulate your emotions and mental health for profit.

    • Mike Austin October 3, 2021, 3:45 PM

      “If you have to choose, being uninformed (and content) is far better than living in fear, poisoned by people who manipulate your emotions and mental health for profit.”

      You and Jefferson must be related:

      ““The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

      Jefferson hated the media of his day. And with damn good reason.

      “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

      More here.


      Written 250 years ago. It reads as if written yesterday.