I think that's probably true in that setting the goalpost at an unattainable location is a cruel joke. Its one of those things that's hard to give up though. I think "if I stop trying to be perfect, then I'll fall so far below my expectations." I tell myself it's motivating and keeps me at my best. And so it continues. The inner critic will likely always have a podium from which it spews self-doubt and highlights room for improvement.
The grand hoax though, in my observation, is that everyone is doing the same thing and even the people that seem the most together have some deficiency. (The inner critic isn't just there for self flagellation, she finds everyone else's flaws too. She's just more forgiving of them). I'm not sure what the point of all this is, other than an acknowledgement of a maladaptive behavior and a disinclination to do anything about it. At least doing pulls the proverbial curtain back from the wizard that is everyone's attempt at seeming perfect. It's a dynamic I can live with.