We hold further that Communism is not only desirable, but that existing societies, founded on Individualism, are inevitably impelled in the direction of Communism. The development of Individualism during the last three centuries is explained by the efforts of the individual to protect himself from the tyranny of Capital and of the State. For a time he imagined, and those who expressed his thought for him declared, that he could free himself entirely from the State and from society. "By means of money," he said, "I can buy all that I need." But the individual was on a wrong tack, and modern history has taught him to recognize that, without the help of all, he can do nothing, although his strong-boxes are full of gold.
The metaphysical mutation that gave rise to materialism and modern science in turn spawned two great trends: rationalism and individualism. Huxley’s mistake was in having poorly evaluated the balance of power between these two. Specifically, he underestimated the growth of individualism brought about by an increased consciousness of death. Individualism gives rise to freedom, the sense of self, the need to distinguish oneself and to be superior to others. A rational society like the one he describes in Brave New World can defuse the struggle. Economic rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over space—has no more reason to exist in a society of plenty, where the economy is strictly regulated. Sexual rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over time through reproduction—has no more reason to exist in a society where the connection between sex and procreation has been broken. But Huxley forgets about individualism. He doesn’t understand that sex, even stripped of its link with reproduction, still exists—not as a pleasure principle, but as a form of narcissistic differentiation. The same is true of the desire for wealth. Why has the Swedish model of social democracy never triumphed over liberalism? Why has it never been applied to sexual satisfaction? Because the metaphysical mutation brought about by modern science leads to individuation, vanity, malice and desire. Any philosopher, not just Buddhist or Christian, but any philosopher worthy of the name, knows that, in itself, desire—unlike pleasure—is a source of suffering, pain and hatred.
For at the beginning of the twentieth century, the nation had been struggling to find its way. Terror had raged, a second civil war had threatened to split the nation into new feuding armies, and the inequities of industrial life had brutalized too many lives. Three men who were caught up in those traumatic times, shaped by them, found with their talents, energy, and ideals a way out of it, both for themselves and for the nation. Darrow, Billy, D.W. were all flawed - egotists, temperamental, and too often morally complacent. But as their careers and lives intersected in Los Angeles at the tail end of the first decade of the twentieth century, each in his own way helped to move America into the modern world. They were individuals willing to fight for their beliefs; and the legacy of their battles, their cultural and political brawls, remains part of our national consciousness.
My conduct with my friends is motivated: each being is, I believe, incapable on his own, of going to the end of being. If he tries, he is submerged within a "private being" which has meaning only for himself. Now there is no meaning for a lone individual: bing alone would of itself reject the "private being" if it saw it as such (if I wish my life to have meaning for me, it is necessary that it have meaning for others: no one would dare give to life a meaning which he alone would perceive, from which life in its entirety would escape, except within himself). At the extreme limit of the "possible", it is true, there is nonsense . . . but only of that which had a prior sense: this is fulguration, even "apotheosis" of nonsense. But I don't attain the extreme limit on my own and, in actual fact, I can't believe the extreme limit attained, for I never remain there. If I had to be the only one having attained it (assuming that I had . . .), it would be as thought it had not occurred. For if there subsisted a satisfaction, as small as I can imagine it to be, it would distance me as much from the extreme limit. I cannot for a moment cease to incite myself to attain the extreme limit, and cannot make a distinction between myself and those with whom I desire to communicate.~George Bataille, "Inner Experience" pg. 42