"There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wish I could believe that"
John Connor - Opening of Terminator 3.
It's a popular philosophy - captain of our own souls, our own destiny. It's popped in Western culture numerous times, probably even pre-dating the Greeks, been given political and economic currency since the Enlightenment of the 17th century, and is toyed with in some measure by anyone, I guess, who 'defines' themselves, at least in measure, on line,
but there's a flip side to this 'bright side' attitude to ourselves and life, a murdering sub-strata of 'monsters from the id' which are just as sinister as any Morlock and as incarcerating as the Arkum Asylum - it is these which are the sirens of times.
The problem, of course, is they are so cloaked in a 'shroud of decency', that their forms are barely made known in public, and so, faceless and hidden, they escape scrutiny, and the hollow dream of self-determinism continues to the ashes of the grave.
Intellectuals, the likes of Richard Dawkins and Melvin Bragg, can glibly and publicly espouse the virtues of the cardinal philosophies of this nightmare without blinking, because the truth is almost too shocking and certainly too painful to bear - the underlying errors regarding the nature of the human condition within game theory, the mammoth policies of economic, social, political, health and even spiritual change since the 1970's that have been constructed on those same errors, beginning in American culture and being implemented, often by force, across the globe, bringing us to the present state of affairs, where the collapse is real, but the reasons for it are still not understood.
It's a broken, cannibalistic philosophy, it's ultimate victim being the self, which becomes the property of others beneath an illusion of virtual freedom via the means of cyberspace - control through apparent self- expression, where individualism becomes a means of un-purchased but free entrainment to all.
Oliver Stone's striking movie, Nixon, began with a statement which causes us to consider such greed - 'What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but looses his own soul'. Stone's 1987 movie, Wall Street, clearly defines the soul-less 'bubble' that our culture has inhabited for some time. Those words of Jesus stand before our present society and show us its blindness and pain. We must put aside the folly of our self-determinism, and once again seek the one who brings meaning and significance beyond the vanity of our broken age.