The Will to Act

“The Will to Act”

Change is exacted through power, whether this be the power to change society, social systems, hierarchies, or merely the circumstances of oneself. “Power” can be as simple as deciding to clean the house or go to the gym today, or it can be as monumental as working to provide food for the homeless, or working tirelessly to get congressional votes to enact affordable healthcare for an entire nation. Power comes in many forms, but all forms of power begin with action, or a minimal effort of some kind, that most people are simply unwilling to exert.

The greatest changes in this world often take no great effort, only that of the decision to apply effort where none has ever before been applied, and, in many cases, to do so consistently and dedicatedly. This consistency is a matter of character, reflecting the ability of oneself to endure change, and often trying circumstances, through the trials and tribulations of life, as it were. It is the only true measure of moral value in this life, and the only thing demonstrative that one is worthy of any moral concern.

Furthermore, without power, one can challenge no one accused of abusing power, save for calling that individual a bad person and attempting to shame these alleged bad people, but what of it? There is no justice in this, only hollow words spoken as virtue. There is no justice without power, after all. The power of the will is the power to create; the power to change; the power destroy. This is the way of the world.

Furthermore, do not forget that someone, at some point, worked very hard to create whatever it is you seek to destroy or improve upon, whether one deems such creations “right” or “wrong”—it matters not. Anything worth doing (or undoing, for that matter), able to endure overtime, will indeed take time, as well as effort—action—to do, or to undo. Those unwilling to exert such efforts are essentially unworthy of moral concern. Power is the ultimate arbiter of justice.

It is not a matter of words, nor vapid moral systems, but that of action, effort, consistency, dedication, and endurance. These things demonstrate the mettle of an individual, and institutions, that they may endure in this world. This be that which matters most of all, within a society. If words alone were power, we would exist in a constant state of chaos (or, perhaps one should say, we would exist even more chaotically than we already do).

Everyone lives; everyone dies; everyone speaks; everyone has needs…everyone is also full of utterly useless opinions that are irrelevant unless brought to fruition. Alas, words alone are not power, thankfully, given that we are told to be considerate of all manner of things these days. Words transformed into action, into lasting effort that endured overtime, is the only thing indicative of mental and moral fortitude.

A bad, shameful person can be measured by lack of will, evident by lack of effort exerted, whether in service to self, society, or any such real goal in life. Pities and personal struggles be damned, this is the game. It is a game of action; of effort; of power; of sacrifice; of survival: all to create that which endures. Were reason and abstractions alone worth anything in and of themselves, academia one would be a thriving institution today, and not one to have so easily succumbed to the might of capitalism.

Instead, academia has allowed capitalism to corrupt the academia to its core, nearly discredited in the eyes of the public. Academia collapses in the face of power, as academics tremble and yield to the power of wealth. It has thus been found unworthy of enduring. Alas, those who fail to produce results are unworthy to criticize those who do. One might even argue that capitalism has rendered academia irrelevant, for academia now fails to stand on its own merits as the vanguard of human knowledge. It has lost the game of power and now appears not even capable of saving itself.

One, furthermore, will often find such impotence reflected in gods, values, and any manner of moral system to which people subscribe, but these things are literally immaterial—useless—unless in the form of hierarchy and institutions that endure. One cannot hold individuals accountable to gods, values, or those words merely spoken. In the era of social media, especially, everyone tires of words. People demand action; people demand power!

Words are, after all, but metaphors for the real, and thus, words shall forever ring hollow in the face of power. It is power that holds people accountable when gods, morals, and words fail to do so. Those actions, efforts, and institutions enduring are the measure of morality. Rightly or wrongly, true character is that of the will to act; the will to live; the will to endure.

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