Wars, more wars, rumours of war. Protests, counter-protests, divorce courts, the Second Amendment. Conflict devours incomprehensible amounts of energy. And it all derives from a single source: the idea of me and mine.
The characteristics of a healthy masculinity are energy and confidence. To develop these, we need challenges and difficulties. Life is exceedingly generous in this respect—and preternaturally precise. We get what we need.
Ideally, we would not have ideals. The idealized self is a false god, a source of suffering. ‘Oh, look what I should be.’ Wherever should is, conflict also is. Conflict consumes energy. Energy is love, and conflict devours it, leaves a husk to walk around saying, “I’m fine, thank you.”
Advertisers are idealists—as, for the most part, are politicians.
Taken to its loveless extreme, idealism is patriotism. And then it is war.