It's usually much easier to destroy something we are done with or find displeasing than it is to create something new to replace what's outdated or unwanted.

(And as anyone who's ever wielded a sledgehammer to an old TV or a wall that's in the way can tell you, it's often pretty basic fun, too.)

Destruction is a far less complex intention to carry out, after all, with its single purpose of rendering its target unusable and/or damaged beyond repair. What happens after the act of destruction has occurred is not of concern to the destroyer. If it were, then, presumably, the acting individual would instead be trying to either (1) fix or improve the object in question or (2) replace it with something preferable, both of which are essentially creative acts. But the destroyer doesn't give a fuck about all that; it's too much responsibility.

There's no question that destruction, as a pure drive in us humans, has its warranted applications. When a person, process or institution is unambiguously causing us harm (without some worthwhile benefit to justify the tradeoff), we may naturally seek to neutralize their ability to continue perpetrating this harm. Self-preservation instincts kick in. The offending entity must be stopped at all costs. We want our enemy destroyed.

Not all situations are as cut-and-dry. In fact, few are. The existing wall that stands in the space we want to expand a room into, for instance, hardly seems to deserve being labeled an 'enemy'… though, in a certain sense, it is an enemy to the expansion process. The room cannot be made bigger until the wall is removed. Yet, without the foresight to identify that the ultimate goal is to expand the room (not merely to remove the wall), we're more prone to recklessness in our demolition methods. We may cause extra peripheral destruction, needlessly damaging other beams or features beyond the single wall in question. And in doing so, we might be making more work for ourselves in the long run—or worse, we could unintentionally compromise the entire building's structural integrity. Oops.

A more relatable example: Individuals and organizations generally develop their operating modes on the fly, doing the best they can, given their capabilities, to accomplish an objective. (This is creativity in action.) Over time, what proved to work will typically crystallize into coherent methods and processes: 'This is how it's done.' Alongside, they cultivate guiding principles, based upon their knowledge and experience. These too crystallize. Of course, circumstances change… and at any point, these methods may no longer yield results as desirable.

Perhaps an outside party arrives on the scene with a different perspective, to confront what he sees as the obvious limitations, problems, offenses with what's being done. Maybe what he holds are merely methodological critiques of the status quo; maybe he's opposed to it on the level of principles. But whether this party takes issue with how something's happening or why it's happening, if he's out to take some action in response, he really ought to discern between (1) simply destroying what he doesn't like and (2) creating a solution that addresses and alleviates the displeasure. The current state of much of our popular political discourse, as I see it, more closely resembles the former approach rather than the latter.

When we disagree with the manner in which something's being handled (or not handled, as is sometimes the case), it doesn't take that much effort to voice our complaints. Those of us on the outside might indeed possess a somewhat fresher gaze, untarnished by an overfamiliarity with the day-to-day ins and outs. We can point to the inefficiencies or failures. We can dissect the relevant power-plays. We can even take low pot-shots, should we choose to go there. With enough valid (or at least persuasive) criticism and/or a sufficiently vehement attack, we'll indeed weaken the grip of that which we disagree with… perhaps destroy it altogether.

What happens then?

In the absence of strategy and intention beyond the destruction, we are left with a gaping hole where the destroyed entity once reigned. If we aren't also already engaged in constructing the new-and-improved next-generation upgrade—for pure destruction, by its very definition, is unconstructive—then this void may too quickly fall prey to parasitic or anarchic forces, much like an empty lot becomes a magnet for lawlessness and blight. Such a consequence could prove worse than the 'problem' that originally inspired the destruction.

It takes courage, audacity and perseverance to actually create an initiative that addresses a glaring need, oversight or injustice. Destruction, on the other hand, only seems to require a crude blend of emotion and rebelliousness. Creators put themselves on the line, volunteering to serve as individual lightning-rods for the collective's vocal projections (either hateful or beatifying, but exaggerated extremes nonetheless) because they believe so strongly in their efforts. Individual destroyers, meanwhile, can simply disappear into the angry mob.

I have recently noticed numerous examples of destructive trouble-makers who have plenty to say about how other people aren't living up to their notions of how things ought to be done… but without taking any responsibility for helping provide solutions to that which they gripe about. It is hard for me to take anybody too seriously, if she is neither (1) constructively dialoguing with those relevant others to create mutually agreed-upon improvements nor (2) working independently to create a wholly new alternative that better suits her needs. Complaining just isn't good enough. Destabilizing someone else's efforts, merely to prove you're right, produces nothing of lasting value… and can simultaneously hurt those whose needs are presently being met. (Oh, goodie: Now more people's needs are unmet.)

Destructiveness is ultimately motivated by identifying ourselves in opposition to. We see ourselves as against something we don't like. Yet, by identifying in relation to that disliked thing—the 'enemy', if you will—we are still giving that thing power. It remains at the root of our identity.

Creativity, conversely, is inspired by moving towards something else, new or improved. It represents advocacy, not enmity. It focuses our energies positively on what we want, not negatively on what we don't want (which, incidentally, is a core tenet of the Law of Attraction, if you're into that sort of thing).

Creativity makes the world a better place; destruction merely leaves a heap of ashes in its wake.

As we're still at the dawning of (1) Uranus's 7-year transit through Aries, a sign rich in creative/destructive verve, and (2) its several-year-long square to Pluto in Capricorn, we will all face multiple chances in the coming years to choose between fighting for a cherished goal or belief or fighting against a disagreeable or decaying element. The Uranus-Pluto square puts us squarely in the middle of this confrontation, as we're exposed to increasingly blatant examples of where 'tradition' or 'establishment' have diverged, in fairly rotten ways, from what justly suits a vast many individuals in their pursuit of happy, successful lives. We may feel rightly righteous in our disgust, in our impatience with tolerating one single minute more.

Yet, as I've written before, it only takes one excessive jolt or a single stray gunshot to instantly turn 'constructive chaos' into 'destructive anarchy'. Uranus-in-Aries's agitative, slate-clearing force mustn't be underestimated. If we don't consciously blend its raw power with a guiding creative intention, it can flare up or explode in negative reactivity… a renegade spark which, once discharged, can defy our later efforts to reel it back in, like a runaway stampede or malfunctioning missile. Destructiveness, without a higher creative purpose undergirding it, can spawn ugly ripples of collateral damage.