In past videos, I have talked about several meme-based personality types. One of these types is the doomer. I was surprised how many views my video about doomers got.
And after reading the comments I realized that many young people identify themselves as doomers. I have mixed feelings about this because, after all, the doomer is the tragic product of the modern world that is not only jaded by past experiences but also in despair of humanity’s dark future.
Being a Stoicism enthusiast, I thought by myself: could Stoicism be a solution or, at least, a bandage for the doomer’s suffering? In this video, I’d like to present to you a few Stoic ideas to ease the doomer’s pain.
Like many people, a doomer is encumbered by a number of things that aren’t really up to him. I say him because the doomer meme we all know happens to be male, and it seems that the majority of doomers are males. Even though there probably is a small female minority of doomerettes, let’s stick with the male version for simplicity’s sake.
The doomer’s depression is probably caused by swallowing the proverbial red pill that removed the veil of ignorance and exposed him to many harsh realities of the world.
Because he realizes that reality is much uglier than he previously thought, he has fallen into apathy and lost the ability to find joy in a world that is utterly hostile and evil. In an age of moral decline, what’s there to do besides smoking weed, watching porn and playing video games? We’re all doomed anyway.
Many years ago, I went through several existential crises. During that time I indulged in my search for the truth. Finding out more about human nature and the dark sides of human society made me absolutely miserable. And, thus, I fled in substances and porn. I was a doomer, long before the doomer as we know him, appeared.
After a while, I began to realize that much of it, if not all, is beyond my control. One of the great Stoics named Epictetus realized this many centuries ago. He concluded that we should not waste our time focussing on things that aren’t up to us. We should focus on the things that are up to us instead.
The doomer may be completely justified in his worldview and be very well informed about a declining Western civilization and even the possibility of a third world war. Also, he may look down upon the ‘normies’ that are ignorant about everything he knows.
Nonetheless, Epictetus would say that the doomer makes a great mistake that causes his misery: he’s completely wasting his time feeling miserable about things that are not up to him. This has a nasty side effect, which is the indulgence in sensual pleasures to numb the pain and flee from reality. According to the Stoics, intemperance is a vice. And so is cowardice.
Opinions of other people, politics, our genetics… these things beyond our control. But, there’s good news. There is something we do control, which is our own faculty. The truth is that it’s not the events that cause misery but the thoughts about those events.
According to Epictetus, we shouldn’t get hung up on outside events, but calmly accept them. So, does that mean that we should become indifferent towards human suffering and injustice then? No, not at all. One of the Stoic virtues is justice. This means that we should make an effort to treat other people well and add value to the community we’re part of.
Unfortunately, most doomers are living in isolation. Instead of seeking human connection, they resort to smoking, drinking, and drugs. Sadly enough, these things make them more dreadful in the long run.
Although Stoic philosophy is highly geared towards one’s own mind, it puts great emphasis on meaningful connections with other human beings too. We may not control how the external world is affected by our actions; helping others and connecting with them in a meaningful way will most likely have a positive effect. If not on the world, then certainly on ourselves.
Luckily, there are ways to reconnect with human beings. Work, sports, hobbies, community work, volunteering, you name it.
So, here’s what I think Epictetus would say to doomers: stop numbing yourself and face reality head-on, care less about things that aren’t up to you and find purposeful connection with other people.
Also, it can’t hurt to realize that Epictetus was not only a slave; he was crippled as well. Not to mention that he lived in a violent time in a violent civilization. If he can find happiness, I’m pretty sure that a doomer can too.