When I read lenin or Duncan Mitchel or any of the people I cited in the series about people I am inferior to on the DepressionJournal, I am always struck by the vast amount I don't know because I haven't read the relevant things. But my comprehension is shoddy, too, so that when I did read Tariq Ali's The Clash of Fundamentalisms or William Blum's Killing Hope, I retained almost none of it. So I prove incapable of bettering myself. This constant rediscovery of my own inferiority is wearying and maddening, and another of the things that makes me want to check out early.
I don't seem to be able to keep up with my blogroll every day, let alone the hundreds of books I've put on my list of things to read. On my hard drive I also have at least a half-dozen PDFs of books I'd hoped to read, but I'm still trying to follow the news and opinions of today. So I will never progress in knowledge — as if I retained any of it anyway.
The other thing I've noticed about myself is my orthodoxy. Since I have no self-esteem, I am constantly questioning my own opinions. And where that may lead some people to improved opinions, it leads me nowhere. Because I'm not confident to come up with my own opinions on things anymore; I've been wrong so often in the past about so many things that I don't have faith in my own reactions. Best to see what someone on my blogroll says first. I'm perpetually stymied by the belief that I'm missing something that other people are seeing, that I'm making some elementary mistake that makes me wrong vis-à-vis my own beliefs. I first noticed this in blog comments, when my statements were always simplistic things about two sentences long that added very little to wide-ranging discussions that sometimes were quite valuable. This feeling has leeched from politics into (what's left of) the rest of my life as well. I don't know what can be done about it; it seems to just be part of the familiar downward spiral.