WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: “SCHOPENHAUER: Being Alone (How to Deal With Society)” / Weltgeist ☮

“To be self-sufficient, to be all in all to oneself, to want for nothing, to be able to say omnia mea mecum porto [everything I have, I carry with me]—that is assuredly the chief qualification for happiness.”

In order to live and to function in society, we must make sacrifices. This is inevitable. We must get along with other people to get what we want. We must be cooperative and generally be pleasant to be around. Above all, we must be able to relate to the common man.

For the intelligent person, and especially the man of genius, this is a big burden to carry. For the genius, it’s hard to relate to the common man. He will inevitably feel alone.

Therefore, it’s for the best if he learns to enjoy solitude. But why is society so dull in the first place? Schopenhauer’s answer is elitist: because most people are dull. And it’s exactly because most people are dull, that they are driven to interaction with others. It’s as if the average person is not a full person by himself, and needs others to complete him.

The intelligent mind can occupy itself and does not need distractions or empty activity. But for the average person, this kind of activity, literally just passing the time, becomes necessary.

However, Schopenhauer also concedes that the need for solitude is directly related to age. The younger you are, the more need you have for socializing. This is also because your mind is not yet fully developed: the younger we are, the more we are like others.

The essay closes with a word of warning. Seclusion, being alone, has its drawbacks. For example, Schopenhauer notes that we become more irritable by being alone. We are more easily annoyed by minor things because we aren’t accustomed to the turmoils of regular life.

A small rock, thrown into a still lake, causes a notable disturbance. The same rock thrown into a stormy sea, not nearly as much. But this is a small price to pay for peace of mind, which we attain by removing ourselves from the stormy seas of society.

PSYCHOLOGY INTERVIEW: “How Being Powerful Works (Dacher Keltner Interview)” / David Pakman Show / David Pakman ☮

–Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, Faculty Director of the Greater Good Science Center, and author of the book “The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence,” joins David to discuss the dynamics of power in society, including myths and truths, and how power can corrupt. Get the book: https://amzn.to/3jQMFKZ

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Kayleigh McEnany Says Her Faith Stopped Her From Lying While Working For Trump” / Farron Balanced / Farron Cousins ☮

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said recently that she “never lied” during her time in the Trump administration because her belief in God prevented her from doing that. Her lies during her short time in office are well documented, but claims like this help fuel the Republican base into thinking their leaders are infallible.

WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: “What If The World is Actually a Prison? | The Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer” / Einzelgänger ☮

What if this world is actually one giant prison? When the 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed the amount of pain that we experience during our lifetimes, he concluded that it’s not happiness and pleasure we’re after, but a reduction of the ongoing suffering that’s an inherent part of existence.

When we remove the veil of ignorance and behold the harsh reality we live in, we might start to question, as Schopenhauer does, the idea that, I quote, “this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the same time, all-powerful Being.” For Schopenhauer’s view of the world is one of agony — devoid of divine grace — and it has much more in common with a “penal colony” than with the creation of a benevolent deity. Now, seeing the world as a prison sounds like a recipe for personal misery. Why not adopt a more positive, more hopeful perspective? Why look at it with such pessimism?

Well, Schopenhauer’s idea comes with a twist. Within his pessimistic worldview lies an outlook that could be very beneficial to humanity. Based on his essay On the Sufferings of the World, this video explores Schopenhauer’s pessimistic outlook on life and reveals a secret to be gained from it.

MARXIAN ECONOMICS & POLITICAL ECONOMY: “Ten Years Ago: Defense Spending [10th Anniversary of Economic Update with Richard Wolff]” / Democracy At Work / Richard Wolff ☮

Defense spending was never really a story of military issues. It’s really more of an economic story.

To mark Economic Update’s 10th anniversary year, Professor Wolff is revisiting relevant moments from 10 years ago to explore how capitalism, its defenders, and its critics have all changed.

For the month of April, Prof Wolff takes a look at defense spending, which was at its height in 2011, accounting for 4.5% of the total US GDP. 10 years later, the Biden Administration has announced the final withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, ending the 20 year war without the defeat of the Taliban. But there was a winner: the defense industry.

PHILOSOPHY: “Arthur Schopenhauer: The Darkest Philosopher in History” / Pursuit of Wonder ☮

In this video, we cover the life and philosophy of one histories darkest and most comprehensive philosophers, the original pessimist, Arthur Schopenhauer.