Continuing from part one on McCarthy’s 1985 novel, we discuss whether the plentiful, explicit violence in the book is actually gratuitous or whether it’s central for presenting the book’s philosophy. What makes the book supposedly unfilmable?
We then focus on the details of Judge Holden’s philosophy. He posits that war is the purpose (the telos) of man. Man is essentially a game-player, and war (in the sense of small-group fighting, not national conflict) is the ultimate game, with ultimate stakes. If you win, you get to extinguish someone else’s existence, and that proves your agency in the most vivid possible way. Since Holden sees war as man’s destiny, we ironically gain freedom out of submitting to this destiny.
We also address Holden’s attempt to consume the world and whether that’s actually consistent with this philosophy of war.