Feeling Vulnerable

But why.

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Sentient 6

Sentient 6

 

I remember stumbling upon this song some time during my JC years. Jeff Loomis’ name was floating around metal forums, and I came to the song to hear Loomis’ guitar.

 

But Warrel Dane’s vocals and lyrics completely took me off guard.

 

Dane wasn’t your run-of-the-mill screaming tenor, his vocals were mostly low baritone and operatic wailing. I never thought metal could get this heavy and still have clean vocals- no gutturals, no shrieks. Only operatic singing.

 

And the lyrics-

 

The pain is born from memory of pleasures unparalleled and pure
In velvet sleep I live the past again
There is no chance to release me, no answer to bring peace
Some people conjure dreaming, sanctified electric karmic burn through

 

I’ve been hooked on Nevermore ever since.

 

Shortly after, the band broke up.

 

Dane’s passing took me by surprise, in a year already riddled by numerous vocalists’ deaths. He wasn’t very old. And he hadn’t released much material post-Nevermore. I listened to This Godless Endeavor on loop in the office. Felt like opening an old drawer and finding your most comfortable shirts from years ago.

 

Your poetry has always inspired me; and countless others.  It was not your time to leave, it was not your time…

 

You had so much more to say.

 

Skin In The Game I

Skin In The Game I

Sadnanth: Eh in that Joe Rogan interview, Peterson basically equates religion to aesthetics in a broader sense of the word, which i’m still not sure is reconcilable with the rest of religion itself.

Sadnanth: Ok nvm he answers it later.

Depressshiva: I think he makes a very strong case for the aesthetic and religious connection. For example the reason comic books have not taken off as strongly in India is because of the local folklore or stories that we have on Ramayan or Mahabharat. It maybe even be argued that we need flights of fancy rather than being purely factual.

Sadnanth: But the issue I have with that is again that all religions make certain truth claims without providing evidence for those claims. And while viewing it all as aesthetics is nice, aesthetics by definition is subjective, it’s an appreciation of beauty, not a factual statement about the world. Not saying it doesn’t have its place, just saying that it doesn’t really address any of the issues i have with religion satisfactorily, haha.

Depresshiva: Tell me one non subjective truth claim that Eastern religions make Sadnanth?

Sadnanth: Reincarnation, that enlightenment is a thing, karma.

Depresshiva: Six schools of thought all disagree on the three concepts above. And all of those issues have to be experiential hence subjectively experienced before you accept it. You haven’t experience karma or being in the flow then reject lah. Reincarnation is predicated on those ideas what pretty much

Sadnanth: Predicated on what ideas?

Depresshiva: Karma reincarnation and enlightenment. They are all intertwined. If you reject karma and enlightenment because you don’t have any subjective notion of it, then there isn’t a need to hold onto reincarnation either… Obviously I don’t. Because I have experienced karma and enlightenment very strongly in my life. The truth claim is a nominal one and not a prescriptive one. But you can’t do it any of these truth claims without any experience of it. Its very easy to reject it otherwise. Basically cavemen, tribal or christian ideology suffices.

Sadnanth: Or no ideology… But fair enough ah I never teased apart that relation this finely.

Depresshiva: There is no such thing as no ideology. Nature hates vacuums. Try as you might, you, your kids, your family, your community will end up accepting something. Think about Communist China and Christianity. 10k new converts a month with a membership larger than the communist party that single handedly brought the masses out of poverty. Which is why i like Jordan Peterson and Nietzsche. You see the abyss, you gotta overcome it. Somehow. It’s never nothing, if you look at it, its a fullness of sort.

Sadnanth: I disagree that people will end up accepting something by default. Perhaps I’m in the minority and due to confirmation bias have only really interacted with people without much of a religious inclination, but I disagree that people need to have an overarching framework to follow. Not everyone subscribes to an all encompassing worldview like religion. Most people have simpler motivations. You work a job you hate for your wife and kids. You see other kids suffering, your empathetic connection for your own kids extends to color that observation, and you decide to contribute to a children’s hospital. But it’s small, little actions that provide meaning rather than an overarching framework of metaphysics and morality. Definitely my own experience, btw. In my view anyone who tells you that X is how it is in totality is wrong, because things are complicated and morality is confusing, for the most part. I subscribe to no religious worldview, but definitely have aesthetic preferences, which is why reducing religion to aesthetics seems odd and incorrect.

Sadnanth: Tldr; you don’t need religion or an ideology to overcome nihilism, only a collection of small actions and impulses that you later band together. In fact I would argue that ideologies are often the imperfect attempt at synthesizing this collection of actions into something ‘whole’. Life has no meaning save the one you give it.

Depresshiva: No way to resolve it because we disagree about data-sets⁠⁠⁠⁠.

Sadnanth: I don’t think it’s that simple man. People tend to be lazy, and figuring out a cohesive worldview to guide your actions is hard work. Think about all the people who nominally identify with a religious group. Fake Christians, fake Hindus, what have you. They say they subscribe to it but really don’t, instead going by the heuristic approach (i.e. the collection of actions). Definitely got a lot more nominally religious people than deeply religious people. Ergo more people follow the heuristic than otherwise. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.

Depresshiva: Your small set of impulses and actions have to come from somewhere. If you are lucky enough to have an upbringing where your parents don’t screw you over you might be able to be a productive member of society. But in the trenches or when shit goes horribly wrong that pastor will walk by your death bed to offer a quick fix. And most people will take it since it’s an easy way out. Which is why I agree with Jordan Peterson when we don’t have that sense of transcendence or divinity things start to go wrong in a sense. If you aren’t educated or don’t have many prospects in life, all this is wishful thinking. I am not saying that your phenomenon doesn’t exist. What we are arguing whether its in the majority or minority. So like I said; data-set disagreements.

Sadnanth: Again, you’re not talking about religion, you’re talking about community. If you’ve had a messed up childhood and you get taken under the church’s wing, you get positively rewarded for following behaviors at first, which you then later synthesize to construct the worldview. No two interpretations of Christianity are the same, but when you ask most people why they follow what they follow, it’s because it makes them feel good and gives their actions meaning. But that’s the important thing, their actions are given meaning, and that is doable without religion. The collection of impulses (which i’m just gonna refer to as a morality heuristic) might come from religion (which, again, is not necessarily true), but that doesn’t exactly refute my point

Depresshiva: You are making conflicting statements Sadnanth. 1. People are lazy 2. Coming up with a metaphysical framework is hard work 3. Their actions need some sort of meaning. But somehow you make the leap that people come up with meaning at the end of the day. Which you will and also you will be sian and lonely, therefore is isn’t tenable. Religion is basically spirituality in community what, so is morality which is individual ethics in society. If you didn’t have society you wouldn’t need either. All this is secondary to the aesthetic experience of religion which pretty much lights up the same parts of your brain as a good concert. Why do I care whether you are atheist or not. Because the eastern or atheism is not a self propagating ideology. At the end of the day, you will have a society or empire that believes in one god and you are fucked. Has happened before, will happen again.

Depresshiva: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/disbelieve-it-or-not-ancient-history-suggests-that-atheism-is-as-natural-to-humans-as-religion

Depresshiva: So the fairy tale that humans are naive and the unnecessary religious doctrines will wither out is misplaced. It happens sporadically. Which is why to draw a full circle. Jordan Peterson is awesome even though he needs to reference Hindu archetypes more. Especially since he is obsessed about mythology.

Sadnanth: Don’t really see how any of those statements are conflicting, to be honest. All I’m saying is that there exists a significant subset of the population who do not derive meaning from religious life or worldviews, but instead give their actions meaning by using useful proxies at a much smaller scale, i.e. the notion of acting according to a grand unified theory of reality is appealing to some, but not to all.

Depresshiva: I agree but it’s not the mainstream nor is it viable. Only the educated and successful do that. To paraphrase Taleb: YOU ARE THE ABERRATION RATHER THAN THE NORM.

Comparing Weber and Marx

Comparing Weber and Marx

What is Weber’s response to Marx? Discuss the ways in which Weber endeavors to build upon Marx’s work both in his methodological approach and in his critique of capitalist modernity. Of the two, which model of social thought are you more inclined to follow, and why?

The German philosopher Karl Löwith famously remarked that “Marx proposes a therapy while Weber has only a ‘diagnosis’ to offer”. This is a crude but succinct summary of the two men’s ideas- both had different reactions to modern capitalism, even if both had the same underlying belief that modern capitalism undermines individual freedom. For Marx, the industrial world brought about a worrying trend of segregation and inequality, whilst for Weber, this was the inevitable result of rationalization in society. Weber had a diametrically opposite view with Marx on how this capitalism started, and how Marx posited his value judgement as an objective account of the world. Weber also comes to the same negative conclusion about this modernity, because of the iron cage that results.

Weber would have disagreed with the way Marx arrived at the conclusion of capitalism being a product of the bourgeoisie’s exploitation of the proletariat. Weber argues that culture influences the economy- which led to capitalism, the exact opposite of Marx’s ideology (that economy affects culture). Marx suggests that industrialization radically changed the economy with the introduction of machines and factories, thereby changing the perception of the labourer- an individual without the means of production who is forced into a social contract with the bourgeoisie, by trading his wage-hours for survival. Thus, for Marx, the relationship between the bourgeoisie and proletariat is a product of the changes to individual’s economic status brought about by the introduction of machinery, or other means to production. Marx did not see a link between religion and capitalism, even remarking that “religion is the opium of the people”, or a man-made construct to alleviate the difficulties faced by the proletariat in this world. This is diametrically opposite for Weber, who saw the changes of the economy as products of changes in religious thinking, or shifts towards Calvinism. In Weber’s thought process, differences in economic status were due to differences in the individuals’ cultural beliefs. Raised by a Calvinist mother himself, Weber separated European society into Catholicism and Calvinism, saying that the former “places more value on a life which is as secure as possible, even if this should be on a smaller income.” On the other hand, “business leaders and owners of capital… tend to be predominantly Protestant”. This is the basis of his argument in The Protestant Ethic, insisting that divergences from Catholicism brought about a religious link with between Calvinism and economic prosperity by inculcating values of economic efficiency and rationality into their life; the Calvinists constantly live in fear of being accepted by God, and tirelessly work as efficiently as possible as a token of esteem to Him. This led to accumulation of capital among the Calvinists, who continued to find ways to be more productive, and brought their ideas around the world during Reformation and discovery of the Americas. For Weber, this is how capitalist modernism began. Thus, Weber’s theory that cultural differences affected the economy stands in direct contrast with Marx’s theory of capitalism.

Another issue Weber had with Marx was his empathy and his method of sociology. Weber insisted that the sociology (or science, as he refers to in Science As A Vocation) should be bereft of value judgements. This can also be observed from the differing ideas the two men had on the start of capitalist modernity. As one may have already inferred from Marx’s works, Marx has started off from the assumption that capitalism is a negative economic force. Marx immediately antagonizes the upper class, or the bourgeoisie, without being neutral to either party to inquire on the beginnings of capitalist modernity. Weber argues that Marxism is not objective, even if Marx presented his ideas as such (interestingly Marx rejected Hegel’s theory of idealism, imposing his own materialist views on Hegel’s idea of dialectic history). Going further into his argument, Weber sets the limitations of science, saying that it cannot dictate values for individuals, and that the individual sets out his own values. This links back to the previous point on Weber’s fundamental difference of opinion with Marx, as it explains why Weber chose to empathize with the individuals and see their values, not imposing his own value judgement as Marx did with communism. As such, Weber said that Marx’s science is prejudiced and imposing the wrong value judgement on capitalism because it is subjective in its origin.

The irony in this differences of opinions on the inception of capitalist modernity is that Weber does reach the same negative conclusion on capitalism. To understand this, one can compare Weber’s iron cage with Marx’s perception of power in the capitalist modernity. The iron cage is a paradox inherent in Weber’s account of rationalism and depicts the entrapment of individuals into a rigid, bureaucratic system in which the individual is a cog on the wheel, and has no option of leaving the system. This is caused by the irrationality of capitalism- to make more money for the sake of making money. This is paradoxical in nature because capitalism started out on rational ideas; to make money to secure one’s standard of living (or entry to heaven) is considered rational; it was a means towards a religious end. As society rationalizes itself, a bureaucracy is the natural outcome, because the bureaucracy is completely rational and works towards set goals. The stronger the bureaucracy and its influence on the state, the more efficient the state becomes in improving the welfare of its people. However, this is exactly what Marx predicts; that political and economic power would be concentrated in a shrinking group of elite who have the means to exploit the proletariat. Weber also has the same sentiments of such a bureaucracy, referring to it as the iron cage because anyone born into this system must adhere to the rules set by a bureaucracy as per social contract, or be punished by the laws of the state. This leads to a system bereft of individuality, where “specialists [are] without spirit, sensualists [are] without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.” This would also build upon the idea of alienation in Marxism, which entails that the “worker does not affirm himself in his work but denies himself, feels miserable and unhappy” Weber uses the idea of rationality to explain how we have come to this state of capitalism today, and reaches the same conclusion as Marx did with alienation. The individual thus loses his freedom to an irrational system, and Weber characteristically offers no solution to that.

As mentioned at the start of the essay, Marx offers a solution to the ills of the modern capitalist world- albeit one that hasn’t been successfully acted out, whilst Weber only laments the loss of freedom for the individual in an irrational modernity. I would personally lean towards Marx’s conception of capitalist modernity. The main reason for this is that Marx’s idea of a segregation of two distinct classes is a universal concept that can be constantly reinterpreted to fit different cultures and societies across the world, as shown in world systems theory, which suggests that whole countries now take the title of proletariat against bigger, richer countries that resemble the bourgeoisie. In contrast, Weber’s segregation of Catholics and Protestants is far too narrow and ethnocentric, ignoring factors such as literacy rates and geopolitics. As with Durkheim, Weber uses a static point in history as his evidence, while Marx, while acknowledging the Industrial Revolution as a point of critical juncture in the history of capitalism, bases his ideas on the evolution of history, an idea he borrowed from Hegel. In other words, Marx’s theory is dynamic in its nature, and does not confine itself to a certain country or specific era. This is because Marx bases his theory on economy, or power, as the cause, and its impact on culture, as the effect. Unlike culture, the dynamics of power and economics are universal and hard to find fault with. Weber’s basis on culture, ironically leads to many questions regarding how he defined culture and how he could prove that all Protestants adhered to the same doctrine. Perhaps this is why Marx has an entire school of thought ascribed to his philosophy, while Weber’s most significant contribution to the world is his concept of the iron cage.


The last of my short essays for SC3101. Got an A- even though I spent a lot less time on this. It’s been a strangely pleasant journey on this module, with me getting some of my best grades in essays for a discipline I generally disagree with. I did, however, learn about Marx in detail for the first time and he’s been such a huge influence on the way I currently think about the world and politics (though that doesn’t mean I support Sanders). And at least the teachers for this module are clear on their rubrics for essays, unlike the flimsy, whimsical grades I get for EU1101E. Fuck you, History department.

Comparing Durkheim’s understanding of the human individual with Marx’s

Comparing Durkheim’s understanding of the human individual with Marx’s

2. Compare Durkheim’s understanding of the human individual with Marx’s. In what ways do they conflict, and in what ways might they complement each other? Whose approach do you find more compelling, and why?

Durkheim and Marx are both similar in that they view the individual as part of a larger, single collective; society. Both of them adopted a structuralist approach to analyse society and its individuals. However, the similarities end there; while Durkheim saw the individual as a mere cell in an organism (mechanical or organic), Marx placed a lot of emphasis on the individual. Where Durkheim saw individuals acquiescing to social norms and society moving progressively as a collective whole, Marx saw a regression in humanity as society moves towards its inevitable class war. Thus, both sociologists came to very different conclusions despite starting off on relatively similar footing.

To understand the similarities in both thinkers, it would be easier to see what they stood against; the Cartesian self. Before the Industrial Revolution, French philosopher René Descartes saw the individual as a completely rational, transcendental figure that is not circumspect to external factors, a rhetoric he summarized in his line, “I think, therefore I am”. This was a sentiment that gained popularity in the age of Enlightenment and continued to influence people during the Industrial Revolution. On this front, both Marx and Durkheim are in complete agreement that the individual is not an autonomous figure, but rather a product of his society. Where Descartes saw introspection as a way of understanding the individual (though he would consequently conclude that self-understanding is impossible), Marx and Durkheim saw a way to understand the individual, by understanding the external environment around him. This approach is a structuralist one, and both see individuals a component of society, instead of a group of individuals bound together with little to no connection of each other’s consciousness. Durkheim saw the individual’s consciousness as part of the collective, and that social norms shape the individual’s thoughts. In fact, he saw the individual as a reflection of society’s progress. Similarly, Marx saw the individual as a “social being” in his natural state. Both studied the cumulative impact of society rather than individualistic theories to explore the individual’s role. This however, leads to their main differences.

Durkheim viewed the individual with a hint of negativity, and was pessimistic about individualistic notions. This can be seen in his book, ‘Suicide’, where he insinuates that deviance from the norm is harmful for the individual. Durkheim thinks an individual is incapable of controlling his own desires, arguing that “our capacity for feeling is in itself an insatiable and bottomless abyss” and that “the more one has, the more one wants, since satisfactions received only stimulate instead of filling needs”. Durkheim insists that such desires are unhealthy and that an external force is required to step in to regulate this individual’s desires. In this case, the external force is society, as it is “the only moral power superior to the individual”. A lack of regulation from society may lead to ‘anomie’ or deviance from the norm, and Durkheim attributed this to one of the four types of suicide in his book. Durkheim places the society before the interests of the individual, and suggests that an individual will be selfish and greedy in the absence of a regulatory figure.

On the other hand, Marx saw the positivity in an individual shaped by his desire. Marx opined that human individuals are different from animals in that they “produce their [own] means of subsistence” and “indirectly producing their actual material life”. In other words, Marx, while acknowledging that the individual is not confined to his abstract self, insists that mankind is in the process of evolving, that he is ‘human becoming’. It is important to note that Marx saw individuals in two different parts; one as the architect of his existence, and one as part of a collective. Again, this is in contrast with Durkheim, because he suggested that the individual is built by the social collective alone. Marx asserts that “the nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production”. He focuses on the tangible, material objects around the individual, instead of the ideals that Durkheim saw in the form of religion, laws and beliefs. In the language of Durkheim’s ‘Suicide’, Marx would have seen no issue in a society with little regulation or integration, as long as these are not needed for the individual to provide for his own subsistence. On the other side of the fence, Durkheim would think that an individual simply making his own material mark on the world without agreeing to collective thought was unhealthy for both the individual and the society. Marx saw the social collective as the root of the crisis in modern society, while Durkheim would argue that it’s the lack of integration or regulation, or a society with less than healthy relations that leads to general unhappiness in the modern world. To put it shortly, Marx believed that society would move towards conflict, whilst Durkheim believed that society would move towards consensus. This is why their views of the individual are polar opposites of each other despite agreeing that the individual is shaped by external factors.

Ironically, individualism has its place in Durkheim’s division of labour; as society moves towards a more complex division of labour, Durkheim is convinced that there will be increased interdependence and hence better integration within society. This would mean that more individuals are inspired to make their own mark on the world with their own products that are unique to them. The individual is hence integral to society even if he does not play a similar role to other members of society, because he is not easily replaceable. However, there exists a form of labour that is based on an individual’s economic or power status. This is an anomic division of labour, which he describes as “although very highly developed, result[s] in a very imperfect integration”, where workers are forced to do repetitive work without knowing or understanding their significance to the rest of society, thus separating them from society and reducing solidarity. This would also tie in to Marx’s concept of alienation, and Marx would also want for individuals to be able to make their own specialized products as opposed to homogenous products for multi-national corporations. When an individual is forced to do repetitive work, the “worker does not affirm himself in his work but denies himself, feels miserable and unhappy”. It can be said that Durkheim is directly referring to Marx himself on this front, and we see the marriage of both men’s ideologies briefly in anomic division of labour in relation to alienation. However, this isn’t necessarily a reconciliation, as Durkheim feels that in his ideal society, useless jobs would be abolished and if jobs still feel repetitive to the individual, the employer would simply have to tell the employee about his place in society, and why he is important. Marx would have seen this as suppression of class consciousness on the individual.

In any case, I find Marx’s view of the individual far more compelling than Durkheim’s. Marx’s interpretation of the individual transcends time and space and continues to stay relevant even in the post-modern world. This is because Marx saw the individual in relation to the material world as opposed to abstract ideals. Marx acknowledged the continued evolution of humanity through different periods, while Durkheim could only base his theories on a limited scope of historical data. Marx did not negate the consciousness of the individual, and correctly predicted the growing unhappiness and resentment in individuals as capitalism grew and supressed his desires and needs.

In contrast, Durkheim’s view of the individual was unrealistic, as seen in his assumption that “the division of labour produces solidarity only if it is spontaneous and in proportion as it is spontaneous”. His argument about individuals willing to work towards the collective good is flawed because he ignores the lack of means to subsistence on the workers’ end. In the real world, individuals have to do a job because they are forced into it and they would starve without the money. Durkheim incorrectly sees integration as a factor of social solidarity instead of economic predisposition. Durkheim’s dismissal of deviant behaviour as anomic is also tragically myopic, since ideals can change over time. Slavery and racism were seen as social norms in the past, but they are outlawed in the modern world, without necessarily tearing apart the solidarity of the country. It makes even less sense today, with the rise of the internet and social media drawing separate individuals from different countries and different time zones who may experience solidarity in their online presence. A group of homosexuals can experience this on an online chat group even if it’s deviant behaviour in their country or social setting. In comparing societies with one another, as opposed to intra-social classes as Marx did, Durkheim severely underestimates the importance of the individuals’ desires and needs and incorrectly assumes that society as a whole can bring about progress and positive change to the individual.


This is an essay I wrote for SC3101. I did this module as part of my minor in European Studies. Not too bad. Got an A- for this without much effort.

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead

Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived of, and he lifted darkness off the earth. Through out the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won. No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered. His truth was his only motive. His work was his only goal. His work, not those who used it, his creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth above all things, and against all men. He went ahead whether others agreed with him or not. With his integrity as his only banner. He served nothing, and no one. He lived for himself. And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement. Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. But the mind is an attribute of the individual, there is no such thing as a collective brain. The man who thinks must think and act on his own. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot not be subordinated to the needs, opinions, or wishes of others. It is not an object of sacrifice. The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature – the parasite’s concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence, he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power, he wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others. That he must think as they think, act as they act, and live is selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own. Look at history. Everything thing we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots. Without personal rights, without personal ambition, without will, hope, or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective. Our country, the noblest country in the history of men, was based on the principle of individualism. The principle of man’s inalienable rights. It was a country where a man was free to seek his own happiness, to gain and produce, not to give up and renounce. To prosper, not to starve. To achieve, not to plunder. To hold as his highest possession a sense of his personal value. And as his highest virtue, his self respect. Look at the results. That is what the collectivists are now asking you to destroy, as much of the earth has been destroyed. I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live. My ideas are my property. They were taken from me by force, by breach of contract. No appeal was left to me. It was believed that my work belonged to others, to do with as they pleased. They had a claim upon me without my consent. That is was my duty to serve them without choice or reward. Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt. I designed Cortlandt, I made it possible, I destroyed it. I agreed to design it for the purpose of seeing it built as I wished. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid. My building was disfigured at the whim of others who took all the benefits of my work and gave me nothing in return. I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim. It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard. In the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others. My terms are a man’s right to exist for his own sake.

– Howard Roark

Now everything Zack Snyder says makes sense. Now a lot of things make sense.