I’ve been thinking about what you said about Albert Camus.
Camus was the most French of French philosophers and authors with suicide permanently in his thoughts. For Camus, suicide is the only truly serious philosophical problem. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
I’m well aware of his take on suicide. And well impressed that you were able to quote one of my favorite writers and thinkers.
As you point out, Camus argued that the physical or philosophical act of taking one’s life was not a legitimate solution to the problem of the meaning of life because it avoided the question altogether.
For Camus and you, the only way forward is to accept there is no meaning in life (except for tranches of bonus shares, apparently) and laugh at the absurdity of it all, smoking Gauloise cigarettes and downing espressos all the way.
But the absurdity Camus faced is not the wilful stupidity that confronts us today. While meaning in life slips between our fingers, our society is falling apart. Our leaders lap up power like thirsty hyenas while shirking responsibility and moral duty.
Have we reached the tipping point? Can we limit climate warming?
We need to cut greenhouse gases roughly in half by 2030 and stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by the early 2050s if we’re to have a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Considering the actions of our leading offenders - China, US and other countries - it’s patently clear we’re even not going to make this conservative goal.
What future do we have? Floods, fires, famine, frightened refugees chasing safety while authoritarian governments rise to control borders. Apocalyptic death and destruction await us all.
Nobody is safe. Not even California where people were killed by falling trees after heavy rain and snow has repeatedly walloped weather-fatigued residents. Strong winds and precipitation and the rush of dangerous storms.
Two tornadoes slammed into the coastline, leaving thousands of residents without homes.
State and local governments frantically tried to cope but only made things worse. Homeless men and women washed down the concrete rivers of Los Angeles.
Nobody is safe. Not even the billionaires. Wall Street was stunned when billionaire buyout king Thomas H. Lee committed suicide last month. At 78, Thomas led a firm with his name on the door and had done so for nearly half a century.
He laid the cornerstone of the private-equity industry, raised and managed tens of billions of dollars and worked with hundreds of companies around the world.
He had long ago arrived at a place most people can only dream of. He seemingly had everything to live for. Family, friends, trusted colleagues. Coterie of politicians. Warhols, Rothkos, Pollocks. The world in the palm of his hand.
Yet he went to his office at the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Avenue in New York and blew his brain out with a Smith & Wesson revolver.
Maybe he knew something we don’t.
Thank you for reading this chapter of “The Sorrows”, an experimental serial novel about the end of the world written in real-time by Stefano Boscutti. Subscribe now to receive new chapters for free via email.