Identity Crisis

‘He thinks he’s a philosopher, he knows he’s a writer, he can’t help but write code.’

I’ve heard of the starving artist, but I’ve yet to hear about the starving philosopher. The tug towards philosophy is so strong. It seems to be this elusive muse, whispering at me from all corners of the world and internet, telling me to chase it. But when I look up I don’t see opportunity. What would it mean to really, truly, practice as a philosopher? I call myself one, because I’m fairly sure that’s what I like to do, I like to philosophise, but I want more time to do it. I need more time to do it.

‘There is a great vault, hidden in broad daylight, inside which sits the entirety of human thought. Why doesn’t he jump in?’

This tedious tug and push of all the things interesting in the world would be resolved with basic income. I am tired of having to work for a living. I have better things to do with my time than work. If you reject the Late Stage Capitalist system, then, let us say through a priori reasoning, you must reject the notion of work. What is work? Is it a means to income? Or is it that which a human does? Would you call the hunt for deer work? I wouldn’t. The hunt is not work, it just is. Work is slavery, only we like the masters because they shield us from the realities of failure. Yes, if you do not hunt you starve, but it is never questioned, the hunt is axiomatic, it just is. To starve, when the work is the hunt, is a terrible misfortune, like getting hit by a bus. The wolves were out in full, and there was no way of knowing. But with modern work, there is complete illusion. It is nothing more than people surrendering their rights to pursue meaning because of fear. Fear of starvation, fear of being seen as uncivil. There are many ways the capitalists have made it easy to fall into work. They have changed the education systems, making them rule-like, graded, and quantitative. They have removed all sense of nuance and of rule-breaking. In doing this, they have perpetrated the greatest sin, they have made our thinking machine-like. They do not do it consciously, of course, but nonetheless they have built a system of systemic greed, a system set up to incentivise money-hoarding.

If you dare, you can break out from this trap. If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely you’re seeking answers.

All I want to say is, this economic system makes it hard for humans to flourish. Aristotle called this human flourishing eudaimonia. As defined here:

  • self-discovery;
  • perceived development of one’s best potentials;
  • a sense of purpose and meaning in life;
  • investment of significant effort in pursuit of excellence;
  • intense involvement in activities; and
  • enjoyment of activities as personally expressive.

When your self-discovery isn’t money-hoarding optimised, you are never going to flourish. The game is rigged.

If we want to create a world where more can flourish and reach eudaimonia, we must first set ourselves free from the machinery. Then, and only then, I might find the time to dive into the vault of human thought. And you might be the person you were meant to be.

Written on October 28, 2020