“Cynicism” was originally a philosophy, founded in the 5th century BC by students of Socrates.
To a “Cynic“, “the purpose of life was to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame.”
Similar to Aceticism and some of the secs of the early Christianity, Cynicism was a reaction by its members to re-engage the true nature of man with nature and what seemed obvious, absent the banalities of organized society.
It gained some traction even when Greece was assimilated into the Roman Empire, but as most movements that start out with an inspiring message, the very meaning of the word now carries the antithetical definition!