The case for if-clauses “If only he knew... If only he would feel the sparkling flames of my Volcano.

If only he would be enthralled by the complexity of my eruptive qualities. If only...” This faint desire, expressed through my cheap poetry, represents what I believe to be the basic human anxiety – if only circumstances could be changed, life would be much better. The logical question thus follows inevitably: is there a case for the realization of all ifs? Is mankind able to deliberately construct its own reality? Let us start with the case for the achievement of men’s physical desires, as is the event of alchemy: is it possible to turn stones into gold and paper into silk? History has proven that technology overcomes all difficulties, and hence there should be no reason not to believe it will, at some point in future, enable men to reach the entirety of their goals. This bears no romantic or futuristic fantasy – as Leonard B. Meyer has put it, the fact that Marx predicted the fall of the bourgeoisie did play a somewhat important role in the subsequent events. The formalization of one’s desire becomes thus not only the first step to its actual fulfillment, but may even serve to catalyze it. In this sense, two empirically-driven assumptions must be made: first, the existence of a desire is a sine qua non condition to enable its physical achievement; second, because of the enormous force of the first assumption, technology will always be developed to accomplish human will. In this framework, stones will in fact be turned into gold and paper will in fact be turned into silk. Therefrom must then follow a less physical endeavor, although based on the same technological principle: A platonic love might finally give way to the shrill joy of realization if technology proves to be sufficient to change circumstances. Love potions and the like have been constant in popular culture, and I see no reason why, with the huge advance of our age, they should not come into being. Nonetheless, while technology is not available, the power of human will is able not only to adjust the supply curve, but also to shift it entirely. This or that characteristic, be it mental or physical, can in fact be molded in order to meet the envisaged demand schedule. Lies and illusions need not even be a part of this, for the human mind adjusts, and thinks highly of this adjustment, to the most basic moral values of our society, in order to survive inside it. Hence, this event gives way to the possibility of further expanding on the array of those moral values by

The first instance then represents the above depicted case of the platonic love realization: someone loves another without being loved back. much has been made to shape a reality that. has the possibility to use technology for his own personal purposes. have the same table of values and cognition) and that a utopic island can be created inside a society. Let us consider the case of technology. changing reality in its entirety. Illusion would be exogenously modified. We are now thrilled.considering supposedly more futile wishes as vital needs. either by maximizing our personal efficiency or by a change in the technological circumstances. it is obvious that ultimately everything is susceptible to change. The second case. Therefore. However. But more external circumstances could further expand it. as it stems from the premise that all men are equal (i. our efforts to deliberately change our reality might be undermined by the other individuals' will to change theirs. striving for his collective vision. Such model would have to have very specific and machine-like values. But the devil’s advocate must now speak and raise two questions: 1) Are all fields changeable? In other words. The answer to the initial question seems then easy and quite optimistic: yes. the first question is of an almost insurmountable difficulty. so that the system would not collapse from inside. so can the non-deliberate change of the rest of the circumstances be one. But just as the deliberate modification of some circumstances is a reality. albeit more sophisticated. a central direction as it were. a more careful analysis of the if-clause case might enlighten some otherwise obscure facts. It is the case where a brilliant mind conceives a perfect human model and applies it to all men. it is possible to achieve all our goals. is there something in life that is immutable? 2) Even if we can deliberately change everything. Social context is inevitable and has many ways of interfering in a particular greenhouse. . everything else remaining untouched. In the broad context. as a microcosm. and either changes himself or the other in order to meet his expectations. seems to run out of control. or the individual. In this case. This first means of application must then be at once deemed fruitless and fallacious. for life will. and only further technology would solve the problem. be so susceptible to manipulation that our aimed reality will be able to settle. sooner or later. has its origin in the same error. we observe two different means of applying it: either the individual.e. is this manipulation desirable? Although essential to my analysis. if we consider mankind will always be able to shape reality in order to serve its needs. For. uses it in order to change the whole society.

for he has been given less life to live and less time to employ his skills in the world. we are ultimately unable to possess complete and utter control over reality. The impossibility of control seems then not to lie in the fact that there is something in human life that is immutable. the constructed will feel as awaken from a long. or that he will become depressed. on a macro level. wit and intelligence will have become inglorious and ruinous. with full certainty. refers to the indirect actors in the illusion. something we must always keep in mind is that knowledge is widely dispersed: it should at once seem impossible for a central direction to convey all of it. His expectation will have to be followed by a severe and painful period of coming to terms with reality – it is the fundamental law of compensation: when the exposition of a classical sonata wonders off through distant and almost extreme tonalities. the possible disruptions could be twofold: on a micro level. then the constructed reality is bound to collapse. and something that could naturally have arisen in fact didn’t. that the reaction to the model would be equal in everyone. If one reality had not been deliberately devised. making both this unknown subject and the direct participants in the pseudo-reality happier and . The second consequence. but in the very fact that there isn’t – unpredictability is inevitable. realizing all he had been living was not his own doing. what are the consequences of such an imperfect manipulation? The first consequence lies within the question – if manipulation is unattainable. although related to the first. and because we do not know what might happen. tiring sleep. and supra-external influences such as environmental changes and alien life-forms could interfere in an until then stable system. had the work stayed within a close tonality. We are now ready to answer our second question: if an entirely deliberate change is in the longrun impossible.Uncontrolled will would have no place in such a society. a bigger fish might appear. we would not have the knowledge to sustain. it will injure all participants: on one hand. the path followed in the resolution will have to be much more elaborate than it would otherwise had been. an external force could have had as well a place to allocate its power. The result need obviously not be as devastating as depicted. As brilliantly explored by Friedrich Hayek. for all his effort. the constructer will feel limitless loss. an artificial change has been brought about. Even if it is achieved. On the other hand. as therefrom is born all destabilizing stimuli. When it does. but these extreme examples serve to demonstrate what will ultimately happen: even on a smallscale. a childish carpe diem as it were. The outcome will be that he will experience either a rush for living life as quickly as possible.

first shown by Fréderic Bastiat and later developed by Henry Hazlitt: a window has been broken. In the latter. The fact is that manipulation is bound to bring frustration. won’t life events lead to disillusionment and frustration as well? Ultimately. the both aspects of my analysis merge in what is called the fallacy of the broken window. Nevertheless. as has been shown above by the classical sonata and the law of compensation. the constructer has been happy while his product lasted – without it. and amounts to Kantian morals: if one is deliberately manipulating a situation. epicureanism and death seem to be the only options left. the comment contains only a half-truth. then it cannot be blamed of inflicting pain in anyone else . Readers may now be saying: “but doesn’t real life.much more fulfilled. The first question does not pose a real challenge. while we may experience a sense of disenchantment. had the window not been broken. does not prove the essential rationale behind the spontaneous order. there are no warranties that unregulated life will eventually turn out to be worth living. the method of falsification and of showing that one action is less worse than the other. there is only frustration. without any illusions. but to set them in relief is fundamental. The misleading part lies in the fact that. a last pair of fundamental questions remain: 1) why is the spontaneity-caused suffering morally right and the deliberately conceived morally wrong? 2) What is the meaning of life if there is nothing we can hold on to? The answers have already been implicitly given. cause suffering anyhow? Even if we realize that artificial construction is devastating and that it should not be pursued.” Albeit pertinent and even necessary at this point of the analysis. it only makes it morally the worse. Disenchantment. Because it was deliberately created. and it does not . In short. but I find this allegory extremely insightful in what concerns the artificial construction of a reality. then he is deliberately causing suffering. hysteria and devastation. I do not intend here to make an economical analysis of life (even though I more and more believe that all human action is indeed about economics). If a naturally born situation is unknowingly causing someone to be worse off. But despite this is not a crime. Hence. we will never feel the bitter taste of bathing in the oasis and then realizing we have indeed been eating sand all the way. there is frustration and loss. and it has given employment to the glazier. the resources of the owner of the window could have been employed in a different way. generating wealth in a possibly wider array of sectors. constructivism brings about much more suffering than a natural disruption would: for in the latter. in the former.

like medical treatment. sad as it may be. any situation that could potentially come into being. As Francis Bacon has put it. realistic awareness of the nature and meaning of existence. The importance of hope can hardly be overestimated. it is because it wasn't supposed to" contains much more information than one might expect. I hope I have not given the impression that life is either pure joy or pure sadness: both and neither of them are susceptible of happening. On the course of the previous analysis. How can he then be happy and find a meaning to life. and you cannot develop the needed kinetic energy without teleology. Indeed all maturation. has not destroyed on one hand. “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism. in the sense that it is our only and most effective way of realizing one's self. but of minor (and possibly diminished) tonics. it is painful. In fact. Desire is not a property right per se. You cannot construct a sonata without dissonance. but there is an even higher possibility that it might. the usual commonplace "if it didn't happen. Meyer once more. or at least our fatum might be accomplished. I have tried both to denounce the vicissitudes of constructivism and to provide an optimistic framework for human action. the fact is that the possibility that it might not be is just as high as the possibility that it might. however. suffering may ultimately be good. but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. it is sending an abstract signal to the one who desires by showing him that he should find a better way to employ his resources.” Therefore. is in the last analysis more or less painful” The meaning of life is then to find where we are the happiest and where our resources are best employed. all self-discovery. Is there a possibility that it may never happen? Yes. suffering may lead to a higher level of consciousness and a more sensitive. ultimately paying him a good service. Sadness has nevertheless occurred. any physical happening. not even for a short period of time. there is thus a very big possibility that our wishes. What I come to argue is that illusions can never be positive. If we are drowned in a sea of depression. For though. and the tragedy exists. we will become static and the world will not only become a set of tonics. For why is indeed knowledge limitlessly dispersed? Because our Grand Society has come to encompass a virtually unlimited supply of demands. Even if it . and on the other. if there is at least one instance where the truth table of his entire life in terms of happiness might be false? Well. "In instances where the individual is able to master it through understanding.purposefully act upon the other individuals' liberty. as Job did. It may be very difficult. and its ruin. but to quote Leonard B.

. If only he would feel the sparkling flames of my Volcano. Value is subjective. . cannot take place in a real world.. If only he would be enthralled by the complexity of my eruptive qualities. the other might find repulsive .” he would probably (emphasis noted) not correspond anyhow. Let life be what it is.takes place in one second only.. "Hope is the last one to day".therein lies the core reason of the existence of an unlimited supply of demands. and what one may find exhilarating. Therefore. If only. albeit a seductive approach. it will take one more second away from life's enterprise of efficiently discovering its place. “If only he knew.. and it moves forward more quickly without artificially created obstacles. Meritocracy.

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