Author: Daren Jonescu

Helping

To the extent that we are social animals, we all have an urge to help. The problem is that we also have a common weakness — perhaps, paradoxically, an expression of our lust for power — for confusing helping with “making the problem go away.” Nietzsche observes, in The Gay Science, that the “religion of pity” thrives on the self-important air of the...

Disagreement

Proponents of soft despotism have long understood that with the proper attention to universal schooling and heightened public sentimentality, it is possible to gain absolute power over the majority of any population if one is patient enough to plant the seeds and cultivate them carefully. However, soft despots have also long understood that there will always be a significant proportion of any population...

Filling the Void

The Arizona election audit — paid for and conducted by Trump dreamers who would give their right arms (they gave their souls years ago) to find one scintilla of semi-plausible evidence of widespread voter fraud that might lend credence to their idol’s endless and hitherto groundless ranting about a stolen election – turned up exactly zero scintillas of such evidence. Nothing. “Not a...

Equality of Opportunity, Part Two: Unfair Advantages

There is balance in the cosmos and in the soul. We humans call this cosmic balance “justice.” People who, through family prominence, good looks, good luck, or an attractively extraverted temperament, gain advantages and opportunities throughout their younger years, will likely pay for it later….

Equality of Opportunity, Part One

Perfect equality of opportunity would require everyone to be born in precisely identical circumstances — not merely in homes of identical material wealth, but rather in circumstances entirely without differentiating conditions that might slant life ever so slightly in favor of this or that individual. Those truly equal in opportunity must necessarily be born among the same number of siblings, and in precisely...

Overcoming vs. Hiding

To overcome something, you must face it, live with it, struggle through it, understand it deeply, and work out a way to surmount its debilitating or harmfully limiting effects. Merely avoiding the thing from the outset, by contrast, is not an alternative means of overcoming it, but rather a method of ensuring that you will never overcome it.  Failure, spiritual pain, loneliness, the...

Election News

When Cyber Ninjas, the Trump-friendly group of something-or-others with no experience or knowledge related to the fields of election procedure and election audits, delayed the release of its Maricopa County audit results, citing one member’s illness, I assumed that this delay was an attempt to buy time as the group searched for a way to escape the Trump cult’s wrath over its findings....

Surface and Depth

The great modern error, resulting from the spiritual dialectic of modernity: desire as depth. Thesis: Reason is a calculative response to the imperatives of passion; hence the passions comprise the original “state of nature.” Antithesis: If passion is our original nature, then reason, which dilutes or repurposes passion, is a corruption of nature. Synthesis: Desire is reality; reason is merely the deforming mask...

Tribalism Today

“Biden embarrassing US on world stage,” announces a headline from Fox News, specifically concerning an episode of Laura Ingraham’s show in which she interviews Victor Davis Hanson to arrive at the startling investigative conclusion referenced in that headline. But Ingraham and Hanson, both highly educated and presumably fairly intelligent, along with the entire Fox News corporate entity from whose audience approval they profit...

Too Embarrassed to Live

We do not know why we are here. Hence, every expression of disinterest — and worse, every dismissive certainty – about this question bespeaks a detachment from life itself. There is no life without definition. There is no definition without essence. There is no essence without purpose. “Why are we here?” To the extent that this question has become a laughingstock, a joke...