Category: Ideas and Reflections

Socrates’ Challenge

The roots of political philosophy grew from Socrates’ lifelong frustration with all the politicians, rhetoricians, and sophists active and influential in the political arena, who through all his attempts to question and challenge them on this issue, could never provide one rationally plausible definition of politics’ essential concern, justice. In short, Socrates found that none of the men important in the political life...

Late Modern Passions

To escape a perceived object of fear, late modern humanity will eagerly sacrifice anything — up to and including human life itself, the soul of man. In self-defeating hopes of protecting his most worthless and subhuman objects of desire — immediate comfort and immediate pleasure — late modern man will enslave both himself and his neighbor without hesitation, even seemingly without differentiation, thereby...

Independence vs. Cynicism

Expecting good from someone is the fastest way to be disappointed — and also the best way to discover a good person. Many people will let us down, to be sure. A rare few will not. You will never find the few unless you are brave enough to face and withstand the many.  Not expecting good from anyone is the easiest way to...

Justice as Fairness

A thought for all of those demanding fairness in the U.S. election process, and perhaps feeling that their preferred candidate was treated unfairly on November 3rd. Here is my suggestion, offered sincerely, for making the current democratic election process in the United States as fair as it should be, as it was designed to be, and as it once was: Demand that every...

Fear and Shame

How many elderly people will spend the last year of their lives isolated from most of their kin, wishing in futility for one last family holiday gathering that will be denied them by holier-than-thou politicians and self-righteously “compassionate” family members? — all those politicians and family members pretending that they are depriving these old folks of their last moments of earthly joy out...

Random Sunday Reflections

Michelle Obama notoriously said, in reference to her husband’s nomination for the U.S. presidency, that this was the first time she had ever felt proud of her country. To borrow her inflection while reversing her sentiments, I can honestly say that this year is the first time I have ever felt ashamed of my species. I just read the headline, “Alex Trebek Was...

A Few Worse Plagues Than COVID

This autumn, Pope Francis shocked the world by finally saying something rational, religious, and rhetorically out of step with this progressive moment — the occasion was duly noted here in Limbo — namely that “gossiping is a worse plague than COVID.” As my adopted home of South Korea gradually returns to something the government calls “Level 1.5” social distancing (don’t ask), thus more...

Seven Billion Voices

If everyone in a crowded room were speaking at the same time, who would be the audience? Would each person not merely be speaking to himself? Would each person not therefore be failing to attend to anyone else? In such a condition, would not each voice beyond one’s own be reduced in one’s awareness to the status of background noise, a distraction? In...

Patience and Eternity

There is life, even when death rules — which means that death rules only by the grace of life. The ascendancy of evil only means the recession of good, not its evaporation, for privation is not a substance. Beauty lurks and abides through the ugliest moments, waiting in dark woods…

Coronavirus Context: A Personal View

Here are some numbers that might interest you — or might not. In fact, I really don’t care if they do or don’t. I report them for the record, for posterity, for my soul, or merely for the satisfaction of typing what I would rather not scream. Ten: The approximate number of humans on this planet — beyond my friendly band of Limbo...