Thursday, May 24th 2012

Some people want to build empires. Empires take many forms; fame, accumulation of land, political influence, reputation for X or Y or Z, etc.

Why do people want to build empires? To win? To succeed? Command others? The explanations are usually greed, self-interest, ambition ... perhaps even just creativity. Perhaps it stems from needing to prove oneself to a unloving parent, or to triumph over bullies from one's youth. Perhaps its the urge to change the way the world works.

Whatever it is, I think the explanation is simpler and more generic than that. The urge to build an empire is almost always an attempt to cheat death, seek love and avoid thinking.

  • You cheat death by creating a work beyond yourself.
  • You seek love by creating an entity external to yourself you can love.
  • You avoid thinking by getting involved entirely in the process of creating an external, imaginary thing.