The Fires of Youth

Today is my 21st birthday. My unstoppable march towards death continues, and I can now claim another year to my name.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means, and where I am right now. I’ve been thinking about how young I really am, both in the grand scheme of things and even amongst our little Neoreactionary thede that we’ve been building.

I’ve been thinking about the bad habits I have that I’d like to rid myself. Cleansing myself of them sounds like a good side task to accomplish over the next 12 months. After all, here at “The Legionnaire” excellence is one of the highest virtues, and to paraphrase Aristotle “Excellence is a habit”.

I’ve been thinking about how listless and directionless I am. I have no idea what I want to do in life. I have no idea what my life purpose happens to be (if such a thing exists…I am skeptical of the entire concept). I have no idea what I’ll be doing a year from now. All bets are off past that point.

I’ve been thinking about a point belabored by many before me, the lack of societal rituals signifying ones’ ascension to manhood. The Maasai would send male teenagers off with a spear in the expectation that you would come back with a lion. What do we have in our time? The closest thing we seem to have in our time is the college graduation, or perhaps the drunken 21st birthday celebration (of which I expect to take little meaning from the former and I intend to forgo the latter).

I’ve been thinking about whether or not I am truly an adult yet. In any other time but this one, I would be. But am I? I don’t know. I want to be. I’m trying to be. Is that enough? I don’t know. I don’t think it is.

I’ve been thinking about why I’m even confused in the first place. I’ve been thinking about how our society invented the concept of “adolescence” and uses it to keep our youth suspended in a limbo of continued “education” as long as possible, sacrificing the energy and dynamism of youth for a obedient populace that will sit down, shut up, and live their lives as cogs in a machine going nowhere.

Man needs meaning but we have replaced meaning with anti-depressants.

We can do better, but we cannot rely on society to do better for us. If we wish to do better, the burden lies upon ourselves. We need to plan and set that course for ourselves. There are near infinite options to go about this, of course, and no two paths will be the same for any two individuals. The best advice I can offer is this first step: Take a look at what society is telling you to do, and do something different.

I can’t quite claim I’m in any position to give anybody advice, though, so take that suggestion at your own discretion. I certainly think I am correct in that assertion, but who am I to say?

Enough. It is time for me to put these worries aside. Doubts and fears and caveats have their place, but they offer no substance, only ash and shadows. Let us go forward illuminated by fire. Let us not be held back by fear and darkness.

I offer up a rallying cry to my peers and to those younger than even I. Let’s forge our own paths. Let’s pursue our own interests. Let’s direct our own educations. Let’s reject this dying society by transcending it, by choosing life and forging ourselves into something greater than what lies ahead for us otherwise. Let’s flee this system as much as we can. Let’s start the world.

Neoreaction expects that every man will do his duty.

It is always worth raising a glass to the future, for the future is full of opportunities and possibilities. Just look at the past for proof of this. A year ago I had no idea what “Neoreaction” was, I had never read “Moldbug”, and if I had to guess, I would have said that “The Dark Enlightenment” was the name of an emo-punk band.

It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that I’ve been through just a bit of intellectual development since then.

And so with all this in mind, I now raise my glass. Welcome to the future, lads. Let’s make it one that pleases us.

SPQR

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7 thoughts on “The Fires of Youth

  1. pumpsix 05/07/2014 / 6:44 AM

    Shit, brother. I thought you were older – glad to see that I am not the only one who is 21. Have a good one.

  2. zhai2nan2 05/07/2014 / 6:46 AM

    Ecology ebbs and flows. Species rise to dominance and fall to extinction.

    Sometimes it is good to be a lion on the savannah; sometimes, when there is no game on the savannah, the lions migrate to the forests.

    Sometimes the lions who have smaller, mutant offspring that can survive on smaller meals manage to survive.

  3. Ry 05/07/2014 / 9:39 AM

    Happy Birthday Legionnaire!

  4. aramaxima 05/16/2014 / 10:16 PM

    Your confusion is universal among the youth, and it underscores modern society’s god-awful proscribing of any roles or goals for modern youth. Young people are left clueless as to their purpose in life. Civilized societies had roles aplenty — there was no confusion, ever. Cheers in any case.

  5. disenchantedscholar 05/25/2014 / 6:56 PM

    I had a similar anxiety when I turned 21. It doesn’t feel any different. Self-improvement is what you make of it. You seem the type to be honest with yourself about your progression, but you’re also correct in reaching for the stars while you’re young. Also, I pegged you for 30s judging by the quality of your writing, so don’t feel too down, 21 is a beginning and youth-oriented culture is broken anyway, the times of Alexander the Great’s level of accomplishment is long gone.

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