Virtues Of Being The Fool

The Fool from Tarot de Marseille by Nicolas Conver
The Fool
from Tarot de Marseille
by Nicolas Conver /
Wikimedia Commons /
Public Domain

Everyone has their tragic life story. In certain ways, each of us experiences life kicking us into submission. Our eyes and our mouths swell, bleed, and collect bits of dirt. We can classify this experience however we want. We can describe it using abstract names like oppression or discrimination, but this beating is not particular to you. Granted some have it exponentially harder than others but in reality, life’s boot has no eyes to see. The boot doesn’t see race, nationality, gender, nor creed. The world isn’t against you personally. If you feel personally victimized, get over yourself. The world is just that callous. The world is just that ruthless where you’re crawling out from underneath its boot, and the sun maims you. The insects burrow into you. The wind embeds dirt into your flesh, and the boot keeps kicking. Even as you lie still and mounds of dirt build on top of you, the boot doesn’t stop kicking. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to even stand up. Although, if we can’t get off our stomachs and our knees, what does that accomplish for us? We stay down, and we join the ranks of the living dead.

What would become of us if we did rise through sheer, unwavering determination? That, of course, would make us fools. Though I am not asserting that rising underneath the boot is a hopeless, futile endeavor. I claim that being the fool is necessary to begin our ascent to our feet. If we don’t, we can always take part in the maudlin affair. We can wallow in our grief over employers not giving what we want, governments not giving what we want, our social circle not giving what we want, and the opposite sex not giving what we want. We’ve all done this. We’ve all felt cheated as our grave efforts in improving ourselves weren’t acknowledged much less rewarded. We’ve all felt unjustly treated at the hands of people who pose as our superiors, the ones who exercise tyrannical power over us. Like fools we are, we don’t know what will happen once we begrudgingly pick ourselves up. This ignorance doesn’t matter at all. The fool’s mind is open and therefore, astute in considering new ideas and new possibilities.

The fools shed their material possessions and their primal impulses. They don’t seek to destroy these but only seek out freedom from their bondage. They are persons of action. Excuses and complaints are no longer persuasive, and the fools no longer stay buried underneath the mounds of dirt. “No more!” exclaims the fool, but what about you? When will you snarl, “Enough!”? The Japanese have a term for not respecting bodily limits and literally working oneself to death. That term is Karoshi, and this fatal obedience is what the collectively insane call success. Contrary to their reverence for directionless, manic activity, working yourself to death sabotages hard work. Idleness and the virtue of doing nothing is shamed as well, but the idle human’s damage to society is minuscule compared to the docile worker who behaves like a component in the economic machine. These eager workers, blindly following directions, don’t have a healthy work ethic. What they do have is fatal obedience. Even though their directions send humanity off the precipice and tumbling down into the fiery, pulsating pit of our inhumane dystopia, they keep on working.

The destination is the crucial difference between the fool and the undignified worker. The fools survive their leap, and the workers throw themselves onto the altar of the machine. As sacrificial offerings, the blind, obedient workers, with their own blood, mold society into what it is today. Our society is not only decadent but proud of its decadence. The workers who built the decadence won’t be redeemed either. They hold their bias as fact and their prejudice as the guiding light in their decision making. The same worker discriminates against the long term unemployed. For them, talent acquisition means poaching employees from their competitors. Meanwhile, many capable people are left to rot because as irrational as it sounds, prior employment means everything and potential means nothing. Although we cannot expect the average worker to have an entrepreneurial mindset and see opportunity in the struggling labor force, the worker, whether he or she works in HR or not, does systematically shred the humanity that once was alive and present in all of us. As the years pass by and humans keep trying to make a buck, we all will find ourselves less than human. Eventually, we will talk of times when humans lived on the Earth. These beings had hearts, had relationships, and had saving grace. The new, transhuman beings will not understand the use or the meaning of a relationship.

The Native Americans knew this would happen. They knew the European approach to the environment and to our fellow humans would end in disaster. The harbingers of our death and destruction were many, the massacres of the buffalo and of ourselves, the relentless digging and chopping of the Earth, and the inhumane treatment of our own labor force. Everyone and everything degraded into a resource that’s only fit for exploitation. Now society tells males to be extraordinarily useful or become pariahs. With an abundance of desperate male applicants grouped with supposedly empowered female applicants, employers demand perfection while simultaneously giving little in return. Women exhibit this same behavior. They seem to relish in finding the most insignificant details about men and use that as a basis for rejection. Nevertheless, it’s time for men to say, “No.” It’s time for men to say, “Your absurd, unrealistic demands make you unworthy of my time.” The male’s honorable duty used to be fighting for his women and children and protecting his homeland. Yet in this environment, which treats men with extreme hostility, which also results in women conceiving less and less children, what’s the point of going to battle anymore? The reasons to fight, the flesh and blood to fight for, are dwindling.

Women decided that men are not good enough. Employers decided that men are not good enough, and our very own country decided that men are not good enough. As countries and women are left alone to fend for themselves because the males are disenfranchised and demoralized, our civilization will be ripe for an invasion. The conquerors who violently invade will only laugh at the unreasonable demands placed on the local males. The conquerors won’t even see themselves as victors against a formidable foe. They’ll know that they are only vultures who picked apart Western civilization after it destroyed itself. On the other hand, this disaster can be averted. The males can play the fool. The men can rise against the insanity that’s disintegrating Western society. They can do this knowing they won’t be rewarded with money or special favor from women, governments, and corporations.