The fate of all that is born is to die. To not be what it was when it was anything. The nature of finitude frightens humans only to the extent that they are afraid of their own cosmic insignificance. The moment we let go of our vanity, our hubris, our illusion of value the moment we become dispassionate towards our lives and learn to accept them for what they are. Momentary inconveniences that are inconvenient through both the cruelty of fate and the stupidity or weakness of our own being. Fate is cruel when it inflicts suffering upon us; we are cruel to ourselves when we allow ourselves to suffer through assigning value to that which has none. To clarify from previous writings: I hold significance is negative in character. That is to say, the only thing significant is that thing we are morally obliged to reduce and prevent. The pain of this life inevitable, not only because fate is unpredictable and cruel but because we are by design forgetful and willful animals who’re compelled to value that which perpetuates this existence but does in no way enrichen or substantially improve it.
The fate of all life is irrelevant to the qualities we assign to that life. The fate of all life is to not be. But since death is insignificant (except in the regard that it cures pain so in this way is a significant and a benefit to life) we should look at the qualities of life not through teleology, not through the science of growth and beginnings, but through the science of being. The study of experience and action towards our fellow sufferers. All life ends but until it does is when the significance of action comes into play. All a Man’s life is a dash between two dates; and it is despite our pre-determined nature up to us to make the most of that dash – that moment in time when we were a thinking feeling human being.
If only life were a moment. One instant of heroic struggle and then peace. But unfortunately we have all our lives to live, and life is largely passing time looking for things to take up our attention. If man was by nature a saint then his first inclination would be to his fellows rather than himself. But since human beings are born needed to constantly pursue distraction and fulfillment, which come to varying degrees momentarily but never will be a perpetual state of existence for humanity, they largely think only of themselves and other people exist only as an after-thought. How human beings treat one another even through the guise of cordiality shows their general lack of concern for their fellow sufferers. Everything is done in toleration of others, not out of sympathy of them, which is rare for most.
We should not be concerned with ends but the daily concerns of those who live in the present and those who will suffer in the future. Not be concerned with completing revolutions or lofty political or moral tasks but making meager yet meaningful changes in the world which can take on political dimensions and which can have drastic effect – but this drastic effect is typically a result of massive amounts of average human beings, not working towards a glorious end, but simply to help others in the communal task of alleviating suffering. True, history is full of ideology and revolution, but we must remember the lives that were lived in between the revolutions and the individuals who experienced their lives outside of their ideology. The baker who gave a portion of what he has made to a local homeless shelter will alleviate their plight than a sole baker in his spare time trying to garner political clout and failing to shake off the apathy of the masses.
This acknowledgement has a deeper undertone of the understanding of Man as “fallen being.” That is, as a Pessimist, I hold we cannot “fix” the world; more than this, we cannot even likely bring drastic improvement to it often-times. Sometimes we can, and those moments are not to be ignored or held as an impossibility – but historically they are a rarity. We can only help those who we can touch, and by our contact with them we alleviate our own plight of ego and isolation. Anarchists should always be honest and eager to discuss their ideals and ideology – but it should not be their main concern. Helping others through intimate acts of warmth and compassion should be the Anarchists first task – to do through personal action what the institutions of society (e.g. governments, corporations, religions etc.) have been unable to cure or what they themselves have caused in either apathetic causation or deliberative sabotage of human health and happiness. Particularly today most actions of most institutions would fall in the former, but there are many a historical example of the latter.
When we personally act we not only help the lives of those we help but we propagandize our ethics and outlook more than we ever could through ideology. Anarchism is a philosophy that is not only reasoned intellectually but its merits should be demonstrated through the capacity of the individual to make a choice to extend kindness and love to another human being; not because of any directive by God or Government, and not because of personal incentive (financial or otherwise), but because it is the right thing to do. This is one of the main aspects of Anarchism that needs to be focused on. Something I’ll examine in more depth at a later time.