Everyday, a part of me dies inside.
We’d like to think we’re in control of our destinies. I’ve always assumed as much. But lately, I’ve been asking myself the same question: are some of us just born to be pieces of shit?
I can run through the normal philosophical bullshit: we should foster a society of philosophers, Plato’s Republic, blah, blah, blah…that somehow we can develop a governable culture where all needs are met, etc, etc. Unless you’re me and a handful of academics, no one gives a shit.
It’s easy for me to sit back and ask these questions. I was a lazy, unsociable child. I didn’t want to do anything except watch Star Trek and occasionally skim the adds to get a look at women in lingerie. That was it. And that’s sort of bled over into adulthood. I prefer the cerebral over the explicit. Inaction over action. Thoughts over material reality. What the fuck caused that?
I’m not smarter than anyone. I’ve been called a dumbass numerous times. The source of my thoughts come from laziness…because I’d rather think than do. All that excess energy that people dedicate towards building, creating, socializing, and otherwise living their life, I dedicate towards sitting down a looking at a computer.
So when so much time is dedicated towards hating, loving, violence, charity, living, eating, breathing, shitting, etc…I say fuck that. I’ll stay in bed.
Because of that, it’s easier for me to champion a system of peaceful cooperation. Certainly, that can’t be the case for others.
I’ve stated before that mental illnesses probably aren’t “illnesses”. They’re a reflection of “neuro diversity” and organized societies probably favor certain conditions over others. So “sufferers” of non-conforming conditions must be medicated in order to conform. What I’m talking about here is something similar: some people (most people) don’t want to sit and ‘think’ for most their lives. They prefer action. They thrive off the prospect of violence, love, hate, charity, etc. It’s not a “disorder”, that’s simply their condition for processing the world.
Is there anything wrong with that?
In short, “no” because that condition more or less sets the foundation for how we define “right” and “wrong”. A self-made millionaire might think I’m a piece of shit for sitting around the house all day. I can think the same of him/her because they dedicated their lives toward a meaningless material reality while ripping off others. To some, life’s about finding meaning and co-existence within the flow of the universe. To others, it’s about conquering.
When I talk to my gun-totting, success-driven co-workers, would it be possible for them to become peace-loving philosophes and for me to become a violence-ready, alpha male? My parents were successful careerist. My dad had a penchant for ruthlessness. How do you think I grew up upper-middle class? Yet none of that took off in me. I tried, but there was never a genuine threat of me becoming that.
I wrote a blog recently about how parenting “doesn’t matter”. We’re not born blank slates. Just ask Steven Pinker. Despite our best efforts, many children grow up to be terrible people. Many of our qualities are innate, we cannot escape them.
Of course, I’m implying a dark truth: we don’t have free will. I don’t know if that’s true, and I don’t give a shit. Disgruntled teenagers and their halfassed philosophical discussions ruined that question a long time ago.
My concern is how we reconcile these “states of mind” to form a peaceful political unity without having to resort to an Aldous Huxleyian “Brave New World” where we have to drug everyone. Perhaps we’ve already achieved that. Therefore we must settle for our current state of political discourse where people can say stupid shit just to get their base riled up…but it ultimately means nothing.
That’s why a part of me dies inside everyday.