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The Meaning of Life?


Philosophers have only misinterpreted the world.
The point, however, is to live meaningfully , within it*.

If philosophers (Modernist or Otherwise) and clerics had their way , life would be vastly inscrutable to the hoi polloi.

Which puts the latter exactly where the former wish them to be: at their mercy.

Turning living into a sort of a Rubik’s Cube is the pastime of both navel-gazers and mystics.

But life is absurdly easy to comprehend, if we follow the science.

Yes, the science (but Not so-called ‘social science’, which is a transparent medium for societal management and control , within the EuroModernist order) .


Who are we?

A gratuitously loud part of the Ape family.



Simple observation suggests , common genes apart, that we self-styled ‘homo sapiens sapiens’ are close kin of Chimps and Bonobos.

Closer scrutiny reveals more: that male behavior approximates Chimps, and female behavior is patterned after Bonobos.

Religious, and EuroModernist bigotries apart, we really don’t need more clues than that.

Human behavior is instinctual, as that of ALL forms of life.


Granted the former set of verifiable assumptions, it could be that our highest ‘human’ need may simply be to huddle, in safety.

We are communal and co-operative and derive primary satisfaction(s) from close relations with kin , clan, and tribe.

The simple tribal society – which is an extended family – is our naturally perfect societal matrix where we are, and ‘feel’, ‘at home’.


It breaks up, regrettably, because of the instinctual ‘animal spirits’ of human males that is expressed , limpidly, in domination and war.

This behavior must not be assimilated to an ineluctable Darwinian struggle for survival: it is actually relished , in its own right, and obviously feeds some primal need.

As such, once the simple tribal integument is rent, there is little prospect for peace in human society.

All we can hope for is an armistice.


Modernist airs, that we don today, have but little altered that, despite the ‘peace and prosperity’ propaganda.

The most warlike nation on earth exemplifies this to a nicety: the US has never gone a decade without war ; only 21 of its years, since 1776 , have been in a sort of a brooding quietus.

But male violence is expressed outside of wars even more continuously.

Just turn on the nightly news?


Also, significantly, human society is not a random collection of ‘individuals’ as EM propaganda (via Margaret Thatcher) will have it.

Our psyche is indefeasibly communal and collectivist.

Indeed, our very sanity depends upon our close connections to family and community.
The abstract. Modernist , ‘nation-state’ , of very recent vintage, does not at all slake that need, which is why we Modernists are in permanent existential despair and alienation.

Ineffable Loneliness is the Great Contribution of Modernism.

No Modernist Utopia can placate that, or fill that void, unless we recognise our species-being , and build small face to face gemeinschaft communities that approximate the tribal state.
So the meaning of life is to simply live, enveloped within such healing bonding and bonded ties, of mutual care and consideration, which go about far as humanly possible to still the threat of male violence


Nature, also, is far from being benign.

It is raw and red in tooth and claw.

Stars are swirling masses of hellfire.

We subsist atop churning oceans of molten lava right here on ‘mother earth’.

So human life is not, in the long term, ‘sustainable’, under these circs.


As such, we need to get real , and stop fantasizing about Shangri-las.

Our greatest challenge, across millenia, is how to tame/limit male violence (including its myriad, varied, corollaries, ranging from empire to environmental degradation).

Early tribal forms limited it to inter=tribal affairs, banishing it from intra-tribal affairs, by chaining it via Affective ties.

This was a signal triumph for women who bore the greatest risks from it: because peace is a minimal desideratum to bear and raise children which has ever been their domain (even in our brave new ‘Modernist’ world).


These are our real-life issues: capitalism and socialism , and other Modernist ‘isms’ , have little impact on them, no matter how earnestly conceived.

All human plans of amelioration, past or present, have perished on the jagged reef of sustained, implacable, male violence.

Even as I write, right before our eyes, close to 400000 Ukrainians have perished , along with a smaller number of Russians.

And we still continue to think we ‘humans’ are the privileged, ‘sovereigns’ of creation, ever capable of ‘perfectibility’ ?

I think the chimps might have the last laugh on that.

Recall the old: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?.
Now we should know why that is so: because the instinctual basis for the ‘animal spirits’ adverted to, above, remains unchanged, over time.

* my amendment of a famous aphorism of Marx.

[©R.Kanth 2023]


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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