Category: Ideas and Reflections

On Libertarians

The problem with libertarians is that they believe that if everyone were left to live as he pleases, human life in general would improve. But when did men in general ever improve themselves through the unrestricted pursuit of what pleases them? Is pleasure happiness? Is comfort the good? Is greatness achieved through living without limits, without conflict…

What Independence Means: A Personal View

I once had more readers in any given week than Nietzsche and Kierkegaard had in their entire lives, combined. I lost all those readers by choice, or rather I should say by lack of any agreeable alternative. The thought of “keeping them” was revolting, given what I would have had to do to myself to achieve that end. I now write — as...

Our Freedom

We have cast off all the gods and their tyrannical ways, and hence all need of submission. Thus we define our freedom. And thus, having rejected the notion that there are gods, which is to say aspirations and ideals beyond our present limits, we happily submit to our own chains, rejecting all thought of anything beyond ourselves, which is to say beyond our...

On Becoming God

I had an interesting written exchange with an independent-minded student recently, which I record here (personal details removed) as something to chew on for anyone facing a similar situation.

Student: I need someone who listens to me and who is curious about me.

Teacher: Yes, in general it feels meaningful to know….

Proof the Establishment Wants Trump To Run?

This past week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the poster boy for the logical fallacy of “argument from authority,” publicly stated that if Donald Trump were to win the presidency in 2024, he, Fauci, would retire from the elite executive branch bureaucratic position where he has enriched himself at the public trough more brazenly, and for more years, than almost anyone in American history. His...

You Only Live Once

“You only live once,” as that phrase is typically used today, is the perfect practical synopsis of existentialism. The motto’s modern meaning encapsulates the fundamentals of existentialism’s philosophical, or quasi-philosophical, perspective, without all the high-minded intellectual fidgeting that was once needed to persuade people that their lives were essentially meaningless — in other words, that their lives were without essence. “You only live...

A Small Torrent

There is a sense of everything closing in or coming to a head. It is palpable. But this sense does not answer to simplistic and tribally convenient conspiracy theories. It belongs to the more complex realm of historical inevitabilities….

Random Reflections

The fact that their answer is awful does not mean your answer is correct. However, from a purely opportunistic perspective, an instance in which their answer is truly awful would be an excellent time to offer an alternative that was at least semi-rational. If you cannot do that much, then it might be better to offer no alternative at all, to abstain from...

Left and Right Today

The problem is not that “the left” is winning, or even, for that matter, that “the right” is winning. The problem is that left and right today are mere euphemisms for various iterations of radical populism, while populism itself is merely a euphemism for something else, something one is no longer permitted to say in polite company without being scoffed at for alarmism...

The Philosophic Perspective

The principle of the thing matters more than the individual outcomes — and this includes also one’s own individual outcomes. 

There is no reality that, having finally revealed itself, cannot be accepted, and to which one cannot adjust oneself. This adaptability is not to be mistaken for….