It is easy to be brilliant if you don’t believe in anything (paraphrasing Goethe). A defining theme of our current culture is the art of tearing down; disassembling political structures, ideologies, religious doctrines, and social models. We have identified legitimate maladies in our social order and have concluded that it would be better to kill the patient and ourselves rather that skillfully treat our varied disorders. Still worse, many have chosen to sit bedside and complain about the patient’s incessant coughing and sputtering and do nothing to hasten or arrest the underlying ailment.
We have thrown out and obliterated so many constructs that we have begun to believe that this process in itself will yield some sort of nihilistic enlightenment and social progress will magically fill the gaping void we are fashioning for ourselves.
I believe the next cultural and intellectual renaissance will see a rebuilding of ideas, a reimagining of structures, and a rediscovery of virtue and its personal and societal utility. Some generation will decide to harness their creative energies, gather courage, embrace the spirit of entrepreneurism that understands that we must try and fail in order to succeed, that understands that identifying a flawed ideal or implementation is only the first wave in ushering in a sea change of progress.
Believing in nothing will yield nothing. We must roll up our sleeves and put in the labor necessary to reimagine and adopt new personal and social philosophies founded upon the constants of truth and virtue.