Lt. Hiroo Onoda hid in the Philippine jungle for three decades after World War II, devotedly carrying out his soldierly duties till 1974, when he returned to an unrecognizable Tokyo. Likewise, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) carries on a torch for the proletariat, long after the rest of the Left has dumped the worker for racial and sexual categories.

Even if you disagree with Sanders — and you must if you understand basic economics and human nature and have even a passing knowledge of how socialist societies have ended — you have to give the Vermont socialist senator some credit for steady commitment. Just as Onoda continued to venerate the emperor as a deity while evading raiding parties, Sanders continues to revere economic determinism even as he, from time to time, is forced to mumble new pieties on climate, sex, and race.

On March 4, Sanders harrumphed to HBO’s Bill Maher that the Democratic Party had abandoned the worker.

“When FDR was president, when Truman was president, even when JFK was president, you go out on the street and you say to people, ‘Which party represents the working class of America?’ Most people, I think … would’ve said the Democratic Party,” Sanders said. “Today, you go out on the street, and that is not the sentiment. In fact, the Republican Party probably has more adherents than the Democrats.”

Sanders predictably went on to blame corporations and Republicans for this real shift in working-class political sentiment — because if a Marxist doesn’t blame capitalism for rain, they take his Marxist card away.

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Sanders knows well how the Left dropped the worker. But he also knows that to spell out how and why this shift occurred would be political suicide.

Hiroo Onoda plays a minor role in Mark Manson’s 2016 self-help book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. As Manson wrote:

Yet, later in his life, Onoda said he regretted nothing. He claimed that he was proud of his choices and his time on Lubang. He said that it had been an honor to devote a sizable portion of his life in service to a nonexistent empire. [Norio Suzuki, the young man who, incredibly, found Onoda in the jungle before dying in an even more preposterous quest], had he survived, likely would have said something similar: that he was doing exactly what he was meant to do, that he regretted nothing.

These men both chose how they wished to suffer. Hiroo Onoda chose to suffer for loyalty to a dead empire. Suzuki chose to suffer for adventure, no matter how ill-advised. To both men, their suffering meant something; it fulfilled some greater cause. And because it meant something, they were able to endure it, or perhaps even enjoy it.

If suffering is inevitable, if our problems in life are unavoidable, then the question we should be asking is not “How do I stop suffering?” but “Why am I suffering—for what purpose?”

Hey, those three houses don’t pay for themselves, you know.