Category: Ideas and Reflections

A Few Certainties

You will not achieve much that you set out to accomplish in your life — but you will correct your intentions retroactively in order to persuade yourself that you did. The best things you do will never be the things you do for money, attention, or other tangible forms of reward. On the contrary, the best things you do will most often be...

Two Rules of Thumb Regarding the Aims of Government

Rulers, like the rest of us, always do what they believe is best for themselves. They may also, as per their actual mandate, do what is best for the society and citizenry; but this latter motive is not the norm, and is entirely contingent on their judgment, in any given situation, that what is best for the society and citizenry happens to coincide...

Higher Education

The primary aims of the university, from its medieval foundations until about fifty years ago, were to prod a young person into doubting his youthful certainties, to shake the foundations of his most cherished and comforting assumptions, to push him into a vast, confusing marketplace of ideas and sensibilities, where…

Answering the Gun Control Crowd’s Rhetorical Questions

When, in the aftermath of every well-publicized mass shooting, emotional or opportunistic people say things such as, “How many children have to die before you are willing to do something about guns?” they are not really engaging in dialogue, trying to understand alternative points of view, or even seeking any reply at all. They are merely trying to score rhetorical points against “the...

Perspective on Guns and Freedom

I just did a quick online search, and found exactly what I expected to find. In Ukraine, gun ownership is not regulated by statute, the country enjoys high rates of private gun ownership, and “Citizens are permitted to own non-fully automatic rifles and shotguns as long as they are stored properly when not in use.”  Meanwhile, Ukraine is the only country on the...

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...