6

Ideas don’t so much testify to sociological patterns as constitute them. The real question isn’t “how can I preventing my enemies from destroying me?” but rather “what conceptual framework can prevent me from becoming determined to destroy those who I perceive to be my enemies?” The answer to the question “how can I prevent my enemies from destroying me?” has always been “I must destroy them.” Beliefs about the self create a sense of coherence in the face of the uncertainty of our lives, granting us an impression of control. But what if I were to do the opposite? What if I embraced uncertainty with open arms, surrendering my efforts at control in favor of risk-affirmative acts of philosophical expression? Would I not become a man without a self, whose identity markers were open to perpetual reevaluation in spontaneous reaction to changing circumstances, possessing no preference for preexisting psychological structures, and considering all possible identities formless and fleeting? Of what would such a man be capable? And who could stop him?

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