Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Great War (by anon)

“We have no great war” was Tyler Durden’s reason given for the state of apathy and feminization of men in society.  I disagree. The war (or rather wars) we fight are ever present in our lives and affects everyone, yet it is because of our acceptance and apathy that we cannot see them clearly and do not resist them in any way.  The wars, the problems in our lives are covert agents that seemingly make our lives better, and that strength is the opiate that puts the public in a state of malaise.  We don’t want to react to the problems, or even see them, because doing so would diminish the “quality” of our lives.  While we are constantly content with our state, presented with whatever may want that will stimulate us, we stray from any critical perspective that would allow us to fight back.  This is a fight that takes two fronts: one against the oppressive enemy, and one against ourselves.

To gain perspective on the problem, recall Thoreau’s purpose for living at Walden Pond: “To live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life”.  In our modern age, our lives are so cluttered with everything non-essential that we confuse these distractions with the essential.  How many times have we heard someone say, “I can’t live without my cellphone”?  The only essentials in life are the things that allow us to continue to live.  In our cozy lives, we have grown accustomed to BEING entertained, to BEING fed, to HAVING and WANTING. And the greatest problem is that we are sated. 

The satiety doesn’t last long, though.  We always want more and will demand more, which is exactly what those who give to us want.  Our desire keeps them afloat.  Because we know we can get more, we yearn for it, and too much is never enough.  The manifestations of this disease of desire can be seen and felt physically as our health declines in myriad ways and monetarily as we sink ourselves further into debt.  The manifestations further feed the powerful as we plead for quick solutions to our problems.  They have cornered the markets and have us under their thumb. 

Who are they? The producers, the money holders, the people who make decisions for us concerning what we buy, how we live, the choices we make – what we want.  They hold the power.

The only way to fight against the oppression is to defy it and break our own bonds to it.  This is the most difficult task, and the reason we have thus far failed.  This is because we are happy – sedated and happy.  We have at our disposal almost anything we want, and what makes the situation worse is that what we want is offered at a value; high availability and cheap prices coupled with a greedy consumer base make for both provider and consumer happiness.  So why would we want to break away from this state of contentment? The gods are appeased so their subjects are rewarded, and no problems are present, right?

This is a perfect system – if we are willing to sacrifice our personal freedoms.  In order to break these bonds we must stop buying what is put in front of us for the sake of convenience.  This isn’t just a rant about big business; it’s a rant about becoming aware of our controlled status in life and asking ourselves what is really important.  Do we want to be led, to silently follow what others tell us we want, or can we leave the comforts of this sedated life to take personal stock in what we value individually?  I’ve left the causes vague intentionally to allow anyone who reads this to think of their own position and their own values, lest I become hypocritical. 


  1. What are you talking about!?! How is being a consumer like being a slave or something as you imply?? I LOVE all of my stuff! My smartphone, ipod, flatscreen, car, xbox, extensive wardrobe, 20 pairs of shoes, 15 handbags, plethora of jewelry, perfectly coordinated home decor and linens, stylish matching furnishings, professional cookware, top of the line household appliances, fine collection of quality soaps, lotions, hair products, make up, sprays, and accessories, show quality dog, 24-carat diamond dog collar, and anything else I missed. These are the things that make me ME! Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today. People wouldn't see me the same way. I wouldn't be as loved or admired. My life wouldn't be nearly as great as it is. My things are my livelihood, and how DARE YOU put them and my consumerist tendencies into question!! Now I REALLY need a trip to the mall to relieve all of this stress you've just caused me!

  2. What does it matter? We are so insignificant. We are all going to die someday and all the talk about living deliberately will go to your grave too. Maybe it's better to live the material life and soak in all the mindless pleasures. At least they are pleasures. If given the choice to live my life deliberately and pine and struggle all the way to my death or live my life in ignorant joy, I choose the latter. I choose the latter because I can and it is the less painful. Life's hard enough as is.

  3. Without meaningful collective social action, dropping out to live on Walden's pond is meaningless, as the system remains the same. I elect to remain plugged into the Matrix at least until the revolution begins.

    The bandit

  4. Who in the fuck is Tyler Durden, some fictional character from Fight Game?

  5. We are born into a universe that ultimately cares nothing for us. We were orphaned by indifference the moment we existed. You are fighting for significance where there is none to be found.

  6. Anon 6:48 - You're forgetting that people living blissfully ignorant in the material world have sorrow just like ours. Just because theirs stems from what you and I would consider petty superficial bullshit, doesn't mean it is any less painful.

    And we're in a better position actually, because our happiness doesn't depend on material factors which don't always work in one's favor, and typically are only capable of producing temporary satisfaction. But OUR happiness does not depend on external circumstances - it depends on ourselves. And, IMHO, it's a much greater accomplishment, not to mention easier and more satisfying, to gain control over oneself than over the material world.

    Profuse consumption of material luxuries is like heroine - it is the source of both supreme elation and supreme torment, and thus, it has ultimate power over our being. We can't know freedom until we get off the drug.