Tagged: courage

On the Fear of Death

Today, hundreds of millions of men and women from most of the nations of the developed world have been herded into mass hysteria and precipitous panic over a virus outbreak that has proved to be no more ravaging than a bad flu season, an illness that is having its severest effects mostly among the small proportion of the population that is already at...

The Philosophical View

An enthusiastic and diligent student who has been studying Plato with me for several months — we were in the middle of a close analysis of Book III of the Republic several weeks ago, when coronavirus “social distancing” interrupted our conversation — sent me an e-mail yesterday to share his distress over the current situation. You know, students like me don’t know how...

What Not to Do

Popular sages and life-advice dispensers are very good at issuing ready-made, one-size-fits-all commandments on how to live well. They tend not to be quite so good at following their own advice, however, partly for the obvious reason that most easily-synopsized “rules for living” must be kept so nebulous or generic in form that one who is clever enough, and motivated enough, will always...

This means war!

A lot of people, from Trump on down, and from all political angles, are in love with the “war analogy” with respect to this virus outbreak. I have rejected that analogy on its face for a number of reasons until now, but since so many insist on invoking it, let’s go there for a moment. An enemy is at the gates. The entire...

Reflections: Fear & Silence

It’s a quiet Saturday here in Day Something of the emergency to end all emergencies. I am hiding out in my favorite work space, trying to make the most of the unexpected time afforded by the corona-virus-delayed start of the spring semester. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” as Rahm Emanuel, a Clinton-Obama strategist and thug, famously said. Without further ado, then,...

American Killing Machines (and the Cowards who Lead Them)

I don’t use Twitter, for the same reason Donald Trump does use it, namely that it’s a forum perfectly suited to encourage mindless attention-seeking and tribal lynch mob bravado from people too cowardly and lazy even to march at the rear end of any real mob. Occasionally, however, I come across a Trump tweet while reading a news item or reader’s comment. Most...