November 10, 2013 - Why is man so passionately fond of destruction and chaos?

November 10, 2013

Why is man so passionately fond of destruction and chaos?

“Man likes to create and to clear paths – that is undeniable. But why is he also so passionately fond of destruction and chaos? Tell me that. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to say a few words about that myself. Is he not perhaps so fond of destruction and chaos (and it cannot be denied that he is sometimes very fond of it – that is a fact) because he is instinctively afraid of reaching the goal and completing the building he is erecting? How do you know, perhaps he only loves the building from a distance and not by any means at close quarters; perhaps he only loves building it and not living in it…. He loves the process of achievement but achievement itself, which, I am sure you will agree, is very absurd…”

“And why are you so firmly convinced that only the normal and the positive, in short, only prosperity, is of benefit to man? Does not reason make mistakes about benefits? Is it not possible that man loves something besides prosperity? Perhaps he is just fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as good for him as prosperity? And man loves suffering very much sometimes. He loves it passionately. That is an undeniable fact…”

“As for my own opinion, I believe that to be fond of prosperity is, somehow, even indecent. Whether it is good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant to smash things, too. Not that I am particularly anxious to plead the cause of suffering, or of happiness, for that matter…  And yet I am convinced that men will never renounce real suffering, that is to say, destruction and chaos. For suffering is the sole cause of consciousness! In my opinion, consciousness is the greatest misfortune to man, yet I know that man loves it and will not exchange it for any pleasure.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky
“Notes from the Underground”
From the book “Basic “Writings of Existentialism”, p.222-224
Edited by Gordan Mario
The Modern Library