Will is a spiritual energy allowing to harmonize the opposites that people meet in their life, creates the middle ways and functions within natural mechanisms. For Schopenhauer it controls the whole nature. Will is however only a potential, it is the realizing which brings work and performance. In people will simultaneously acts inside a person and makes them use intellect. In a way corresponding with Schopenhauer we can say that will precedes the intellect.
My opinion is, that biologically, people only develop the ability to accept intellectual creations and cultivate intellect, if a given individual has the right preconditions. I do not want to anticipate to what extent this ability develops in people, but we know that even the cavemen had intellect, if they created wall paintings. Intellect strongly and spontaneously evolved in ancient Greece and we do not really know where it came from. I doubt that it happened via a gradual development of the biological essence of humans, rather just because intuition and creativity started to be needed, which was maybe given metaphysically. Also we cannot say that a child coming from an underdeveloped tribe raised in a developed civilization would not reflect the cultural environment and not accept cultural stimuli and would not eventually be considered intelligent. Therefore I think that intellect has some solid anthropological constants, it is a cultural issue connected to upbringing in a cultural environment, only individuals are different in their perception of intellectual stimuli and in their ability to develop their intellect during their life.
Very long ago, people started to use their intellect on the base of arbitrariness. Arbitrariness is will, which does not have to exist; it is only a cultural feature, something fancy. Arbitrariness precedes intellect as well as will does, and intellect then creates cultural (or non-cultural) manifestations, scientific activities, volunteering activities, accumulating of consumer goods, pointless hedonism and even criminality. We cannot say that arbitrariness always chooses less demanding aims that will.
Will caused by life necessities however slowly vanishes with the modernistic era. It is given by lack of will, which is missing because there is no need for it anymore. It is not necessary for survival because people are secured, they are trying to find ways to avoid participating in competitions and arrange their lives so that they live off rents, in which they often succeed. This is generally causing the vanishing of the will for survival of the family. It becomes unimportant whether there will be a succession of the family and therefore there is no will to ensure it. Will is probably somehow given to people and if it is not cultivated, it ceases to exist in all dimensions and all its extent. Intellect is then turned towards things that are not given by will but arbitrariness, which maybe rather provokes unnecessary intellect than important things. Arbitrariness exceeds will. If this development continues, will is going to vanish completely eventually. This could happen in the society, which was planned by Communists – a kind of communist society, where people would have everything and they would not have to do anything, make effort, try, fight or use will. Also we know cases of children (usually only children) with a sufficient economic background, who have very bad will if their parents do not make sure they work on it. These children usually prefer comfort, they have bad results at school, they do not want to work, or they just want to do “meaningful” activities not requiring will but only arbitrariness (artistic activities, charity work). Sometimes it is explained by degeneration but usually it is not the case, the will was simply not actively developed. Also we know that starting a family is difficult for these people and the prognosis of the family is pessimistic. When these people get into an environment where they are forced to use will – an adverse environment, where arbitrariness would not ne enough for them, they usually develop it very fast.
Arbitrariness is not completely useless, financially secured people cultivate hobbies and often do very useful things. I do not criticize arbitrariness itself, it is surely important for social engagements, but it is necessary to understand that if there were only arbitrariness, certain human traits and the physical competences creating humans, creatures made by work to what they are, would become atrophied. I assume that children would not like to learn unpleasant things; they would not like to be pushed to show results, when there would be nothing to make them do it. Arbitrariness does not save people in society from degradation.
If there is no will to live, there is no will to defend the community. In an environment with weakened will the idea themes of multiculturalism and ethno-masochism find their way covered by internationally focused sciences (even proletarian internationalism at a time). Sometime it is hard to distinguish the inner sources of these feelings, whether it is a rational idea and tactics or a solution of a person without the will and wanting to get rid of the burden of responsibility, which comes with the identity with a problematic community. In any case relativism is usually the cover for weakened will in an environment where the defence of identity brings trouble and where social state allows surviving without the necessity to fight for anything.
Nevertheless it is necessary to say that will to promote one’s identity, guaranteed by children for the future, usually leads to acting, which is more aggressive to foreign elements because aggression is a manifestation of defending the territory for the offspring and xenophobia is often its first signal. These vital instincts are a part of the fight for an existential environment and if life continues in offspring or at least in a culture, they cannot be eliminated – only cultivated by upbringing in a social order and by requiring justice. The effort to eliminate aggression coming from the defending one’s own community is weakening of the will to live. People have essentially just two options: existence in offspring on the base of anthropological constants that incite will to certain aggressive (cultivated – defending) reflexes causing general problems, or to lose the will to live but have a world without problems. The latter can be declared fatalistically as individualism using the method of relativism and scepticism, or as some universalistic agenda (ecological, religious or Marxist).
Schopenhauer is right that the will to live is paid by suffering of the common life. Constructing process of creating more complex structures is accompanied by work, stress and pain. The possibility to avoid this suffering means refusing the will to live, living an ascetic life and aiming for some kind of “nirvana”. I would like to correct Schopenhauer with a little knowledge from recent times: asceticism is not even necessary, it is enough to not rush into life, refuse natural obligations and arrange life within a hedonism just for one’s self. The process of decomposition is pleasant, it removes suffering and a person who betrayed their mission enjoys its Judas-like revenge. Old predictions have been deciphered: The forces of decomposition and destruction offer sweet reward for signing up for death. Nevertheless, ascetic life is also weedy. It is not pleasant, it can raise the spirit and promote will but the question is whether is will is only self-oriented, individual and without general benefit, or not. This can be answered individually only.
Lack of will to conserve physical or cultural continuity is the base of many acts in current modernity, even though it is not always possible to identify whether there is this influence or upbringing and convincing on the base of modernistic values. Anyway not enough will to defend the community causes pacifistic opinions, usually manifested by loss of identity. Several new religious communities refusing to fight build their theories on this.
Rousseau describes general will in the sense of belonging to a community. General will is supposed to substitute for individual will, an individual should act according to the interests of the whole. This concept can however be respected only as a sum of several individual wills. I rather call it identity and belonging.