The Meaning of Life: It is to grow as an individual, not to hide behind collectivism–the real cause of both World Wars

It is coming up more and more, largely due to the kind of president that we have in the White House these days, but the understanding of individualism as opposed to collectivism is quite the topic. As I have been saying, much of the consternation about President Trump is that he acts on his own, without a bunch of consultants and his own political party guiding him on the decision-making process. This is not at all unusual in the private sector where a CEO may answer to a board of directors and the shareholders, but as far as running a company, they tend to be front of the train decision makers by default and very secure in their personal considerations. Its particularly an aspect of American business to produce those types of people to lead companies. This of course stands as a stark contrast to the way our political system operates, especially under the umbrella of government employment. And is a topic of considerable importance.

Not to provoke a lot of unnecessary conspiracy theories, and the research will come clean with time, but I have a nagging feeling that it was Thus Spoke Zarathustra from Frederick Nietzsche that provoked both World War 1 and World War II—the second world war being caused by the sanctions of the first. But the first being driven by a European hatred of the kind of individually based thinking that was coming out of Germany by way of the anti-institutionalist Nietzsche. It’s essentially the same kind of hatred that is being leveled from the same type of people toward President Trump. That does not mean to conclude that Trump is a Nazi, far from it. At that time of that very powerful book by Nietzsche the works of Karl Marx was also coming out of Germany and the governments of Europe loved the idea. It gave them a chance to level the playing field where a political class ran by the traditional power brokers could issue out fairness. But Nietzsche was saying something else that went against all that, and the concept was not welcomed. They wanted socialism in Europe not individualism. That left Hitler to rot in jail stewing on all these complexities only to mix the various German philosophies into madness resulting in a dark period of history.

However, going back to the ideas of Thus Spoke Zarathustra there is something very revolutionary going on, which can be seen for the first time in the presidency of Donald Trump. It’s the idea that the fully developed individual has great power over the masses, and that the attempts to teach those masses the benefits is a fruitless exercise, usually. And that those best equipped to rule themselves and others are those best able to think on their own, far away from the kind of group think that is so common today. President Trump is showing that the concepts of self-rule, self-thought, and self-action are very much alive and were not destroyed by the wars of Europe which pulled the entire world into their rebellion against the basic premise that it is individuals who hold the meaning of life, not self-sacrifice to the void of existence.

My happiest state is when I’m alone free to think what I want as long as I want to. It is hard to see just how much I am in love with that state because I seldom get that kind of time to myself. I do believe that I could spend decades completely alone with just my thoughts, but that is me speaking from a vantage point of only a few hours a week. There is always someone who needs something of my time and that comes from being a good, competent person. People need you and I am the type of person who will always try to help, much like Zarathustra did at the beginning of that famous book. Only I don’t get frustrated and go back to my cave like he did, but I have the energy to try and try again even if it looks to be fruitless. But truth be told, I am happiest when I am alone, and this is not the condition of most people. Most people are terrified to be alone and they will go way out of their way to find companionship and to talk to people about something, anything. For them contacts with other human beings fills them with energy they wouldn’t otherwise have. For me, it robs me of sustenance. I never feel good after speaking with a large group of people. Its always work. But for most, it’s the goal of their existence.

In that way, I would say that the meaning of life is to overcome this shackle to needing others. We were never meant to be born, learn over our lifetimes only to die into some primordial goo back to the dirt we came from. We were meant to start off as a blank slate driven by DNA programming, then to take that and to construct a self-thinking individual, because it is from there that all creation springs forth, and thus the furtherance of existence. Nietzsche figured this out leading to madness at an early age and the concept was so terrifying that the governments of the world declared war on Germany to suppress such thoughts, and what came forth was the spread of Marxism which benefited the governments. What was pushed deep down into our culture with the stigma of being affiliated with the racist Nazi’s was Nietzsche’s ideas on individualism, much distorted by Nietzsche’s sister after his death.

And now that we have President Trump who has emerged essentially straight out of the pages of Zarathustra, we have the deep fear and hatred emerging that has always been there and had killed millions and millions of people in the hopes of surpassing the concept. Ayn Rand, the American author would go much further than Nietzsche and write better books about individualism and how it fuels the world of creation taking mankind away from the primitive notion of sacrifice, yielding to the forces of the universe, and essentially surrendering everything we were meant to become at the moment of death to the forces of nature, instead of using it to make something new. And that hatred has remained and will until the human race makes a decision on the matter. In any democracy, where most of society is of the type who needs the companionship of others, and the pursuits of individualists are demonized, it is clear that the conflict will ensue in spite of the odds of success not being favorable. Just because most of the world is populated by group thinkers it doesn’t mean they are the best or brightest, only the most numerous. Take the situation with every mass shooter where their three proper names are given to better illustrate their individual nature, and their tendency to be loners. The attempt by the masses to deal with the carnage is to seek affiliation with the evils of self-rule. Standing on your own leads to madness “they” will say, when actually it is the other way around. Going crazy is to follow the masses back into their deaths of dust and sand erasing from the earth everything they made to brand. And that is not a new story, but one that has different endings and is culminating in our present time in ways that nobody ever thought possible.

Rich Hoffman
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