The concept of cynicism comes from the Latin cynismus although it has Greek origin. The term makes it possible to refer to impudence, blatant obscenity and lack of shame when lying or defending actions that are reprehensible. For example: “The president’s cynicism is disgusting: he says he fights for the poor and allows 100,000 dismissals to take place”, “The minister is famous for his cynicism: in front of a hidden camera that showed him accepting a bribe, he assured that he did so for the good of the country ”.
Starting from this meaning, we have to emphasize that on many occasions the term cynicism is used as a synonym for hypocrisy. Hence, almost every day we meet politicians who use that to refer to the attitude of their rivals to any specific situation that is current at that time.
The notion of cynicism was also used to name the doctrine of the Cynical school, formed by disciples of Socrates in the middle of the 4th century BC. The denomination emerged as a derogatory qualifier for their way of life, since the cynics despised wealth and material goods.
Antisthenes and Diogenes of Sinope were some of the main philosophers of this school who considered that civilization was an evil for man, who should live in a friendly way with nature.
However, they are not the only men of the Cynical School who have gone down in history as representatives of it. Among them we should also highlight Diógenes Laercio. This was a Greek philosopher who stands out for his extensive bibliography in which, how could it be otherwise, the works he carried out on the aforementioned current stand out.
In that case, he developed the work entitled “Escuela Cínica”. In it he reviews the figures of those who, for him, are the highest representatives of it. Hence, this book collects the biographies, anecdotes or part of the works of thinkers of the stature of Metrocles, Menippus, Crates or Hiparquía, as well as the other two philosophers mentioned in the previous lines.
Cynicism pointed out that wisdom and freedom of the spirit are the ways to happiness, while material things are despicable. Cynics even avoided pleasure so as not to become its slaves. The dogs were a model for cynics because they admired its simplicity.
Over time, the concept of cynicism was mutating and today it is associated with the tendency not to believe the goodness and sincerity of the human being. The cynical attitude is linked to sarcasm, irony and mockery.
In addition to all this, we cannot ignore the fact that there is a web page on the Internet that is entitled Illustrated Cynicism. A large following around the world has one in which Internet users have the possibility of enjoying a series of illustrations that analyze various situations worldwide. The artist Eduardo Salles is responsible for those.