Category: Ideas and Reflections

The 2020 United States Presidential Election

I gave this post its very formal, impressive title as a simple bit of irony. If you are an American voter, and you wish to vote for someone who might actually have a chance of winning the 2020 United States Presidential Election, you must vote for Republican Donald Trump, a lifelong world famous crap merchant, or Joe Biden, a babbling fool who has...

Plato’s Gorgias in 200 words

It takes more than an hour to make stuffed peppers. At best, that hour’s effort will give me, or perhaps one or two other people, five minutes of vanishing sensory pleasure. A student sends me a message asking how to handle her anger with a rude coworker. I reply that being spoken to rudely is annoying, but causes you no essential harm, whereas...

How many have you killed?

Among the many pernicious effects of the worldwide panic over The Pandemic that Ate a Planet, few are as disturbing as the ease with which public authorities and media propagandists have been able to turn ordinary citizens against one another, effectively raising a universal lynch mob prepared to publicly destroy their neighbors at the drop of a virus-infected hat. Here is a news...

On Comfort and Freedom

In my “Impolitic Reflections,” I noted Plato’s antagonism toward democracy, rooted in his presumption that the majority of men will always have appetitive natures, and therefore be unfit to direct a city that wishes to be just and wise. For this reason, I explained, he has his Socrates argue that in founding a good city, “you would never place any of its decision-making...

Learning to Read

One path of a good reader, perhaps the most common modern path:

1. Find depth of meaning in the mediocre books of youth, which usually means the popular books deemed serious in your time, or among those of your “type.”
2. Realize that one’s “found” meaning was in fact deeper than the thoughts of one’s favorite authors, which in effect…

We, Being Pure: Part One

Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the unquestionable giants of world literature: essential to the development of the nineteenth century anti-romantic novel; one of his century’s two great prophets and critics (Nietzsche being the other) of the then-growing nihilism that was devouring European intellectual life, and has since — as he (like Nietzsche) predicted — settled like volcanic ash over the entire civilized world;...

Circles and Self-Corrections

The cosmos self-corrects, and that certainly includes the human portion of the cosmos, to the extent it may be regarded separately. One might object that to say the cosmos self-corrects is to suggest that “The Whole” itself is flawed, which might reasonably lead one to ask, “Flawed against what standard?” Nevertheless it is so, although I prefer to say incomplete rather than flawed...

Reflections on Lives that Matter

These days, hordes of uncivilized, desperate-to-be-cool white people are accosting other white people in restaurants and caf├ęs demanding that the latter raise their fists to verify their support for one of the most prominent communist slogans du jour, “Black Lives Matter.” Ask these hate-filled, inhuman thugs to define “black,” “life,” or “matter,” as those terms are employed in that slogan, and you will...

The Self-Government Machine

How much of the challenge of political philosophy is rooted in deficiencies of available language? How many essential truths have failed to reach the ears they needed to reach at the critical moment, merely because the individuals who saw those truths lacked universally familiar points of reference with which to communicate their lightning bolts with sufficient precision, or at least with the shattering...

If… (Ockham’s Razor Edition)

If a man claiming to be a religious leader has made twenty million dollars of personal profit from his church or other church-affiliated enterprises, then he is not a spiritual leader — he is a businessman. His product is the illusion that immortality can only be reached through his material gain. If a president is not intellectually capable of giving a coherent answer...