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The One-Man Army -- A Practical Fantasy

The concept of a "One-Man Army" refers to a person, mostly a character in fiction, who is on-par enough to be powerful against an entire collective, such as an actual army. However, this can be applied not only to the military but to any field where merit is involved. Perhaps this is one of the greatest fantasies known to humankind. I will dedicate this article to this.

Although one can easily find this concept in many video games and other modern media, I would not be surprised if we could find it existing long-before modern times. King David from the Old Testament was apparently skilled enough with his slingshot that he managed to kill an elite soldier who was far stronger than him.

Noah was skilled enough in shipbuilding that he survived a world-killing flood. More expressions of this concept, whether true or not, can undoubtedly be found in folklore.

At large, this is a fantasy that might exist in the minds of some megalomaniacs. While I'm sure that there were, in the history of war, lone soldiers strong enough to repel a significant number of enemies, being a one-man army is a rare case, both in this field and in any other.

We humans have managed to survive and conquer Earth using cooperation and alliances. If we resorted to being far more solitary, then perhaps we wouldn't be as advanced as a civilization. Many products cannot be made by a single person.

As a result, we have many industries and corporations competing for resources and customers in an endless quest for relevance.

Therefore, a hermit cannot necessarily achieve the fruits that a whole community can, and I'm writing this as someone who is an advocate for solitude. The thing is, this isn't always the case, because one can still find or even imagine likely cases where an individual can surpass the power of a group in one field or another.

It's true that knowledge is power, and whether or not every knowledge is powerful is a different topic. If you, for example, are well-versed in martial arts, then you might overcome a group of people who are less skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

If you know how to navigate in the woods, then you might not get lost like a group of adventurers who also happen to be in the same location.

The reason why collective effort is more preferable than individual effort is because within the collective, you can have each other's back. In other words, doing things together is easier than doing them alone in general.

Since we humans appear to struggle with difficulty, we naturally cooperate with one another, so we would not waste energy on things we could've done on our own (or tried to, at least).

The best way to be a "one man army" is to be a dedicated autodidact, or a person who is willing to learn things on his or her own, extensively. Some people I know might never open up websites by themselves because they're unwilling to gain experience doing so on their own.

On the other hand, other than some advice here and there, I've built Philosocom by myself. Thus, without the necessary tenacity to learn by yourself, you might be at a disadvantage on your own, even though you can be otherwise. You might also prevent yourself from achieving certain things in life due to a probable dependency on external guidance to get things done.

While I do not like serial killers at all, especially in real life, I do think we can learn from them that doing things alone is a very difficult thing to manage. Nonetheless, when solitary activities are completed successfully, one's skills can improve far more than when the same activities are completed in a group.

For example, not everyone can become a serial killer, but the fact that some do unfortunately demonstrates how strong a loner's spirit can be. Of course, the same can be applied to any other field, which is far more blissful than serial killing. Serial killers are just an example here, nothing more.

The world can be cruel out there, specifically because sometimes people will leave you alone at any time. I know from experience that on Quora, spaces and communities that you've contributed to for years can dispose of you at any time and delete your contributed content without bothering to explain their reasoning. People you've trusted and thought shared your beliefs can walk out the door if they're persuaded enough. While help is valuable, it isn't always found easily.

Sometimes you have no choice but to move forward, alone or with allies by your side. This is why it is critical to understand how to persevere in solitude, because anyone can pull the rug out from under you. Sometimes, it's those you know who might do so, too.

While largely a fantasy, I still think it can be valuable to strive to be more self-sufficient in certain areas of our lives. That's because, doing so can help one survive, should one be left out of another's valuable company. It might be a fantasy, but it's one we can greatly learn from, and apply its philosophy to our own lives, in case we ever need to.

Let us all try to be "one person armies," so we will be the least disappointed by the world and more hopeful about continuing to exist in it. Solitude isn't always an option. Sometimes it's an inevitability.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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