On state violence and increase in viciousness

The state educates in violence and viciousness. It educates in the sense of E1 and not E2 (On Education). The state displays in its activity, and it is that which is most essential to its activity such that it is that most remembered by those who interact with it. Now one might object that, in …

On Education

When I say the word education, whether internally or externally, my imagination fills the void with someone standing in front of a chalkboard and others sitting quietly or goofing off quietly. Aristotle says, "Hence a young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in …

On self-harm and immorality

From Arrian (Epictetus), Discourses, 2.4: “But, goes on Epictetus, if we abandon this fidelity to which we are by nature born, and make designs against our neighbor’s wife, what are we doing? Why, what but ruining and destroying? Whom? The man of fidelity, of self-respect, or piety. Is that all? Are we not overthrowing also …

On self-interest and right action

From Plato (Socrates), Crito, 47e: "What about the part of us which is mutilated by wrong actions and benefited by right ones? Is life worth living with this part ruined?" Picture it. Socrates is in jail. He has been convicted on trumped-up charges. He is 70. He is at his most sagacious. He is in …

On the unity of holiness and self-interest

From Arrian (Epictetus), Discourses, 1.27: “…unless piety and self-interest be conjoined, piety cannot be maintained in any man.” Self-interest must converge with the loftiest conception of the human found in the conception of the human as united with the divine. So, piety. Real self-interest is different from selfishness, greed. It is not mere want. It …

On Silent Action and Argument

Or, On Conversation with Epictetus From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.19: “For what is lacking now is not quibbles; nay, the books of the Stoics are full of quibbles. What then is the thing lacking now? The man to make use of them, the man to bear witness to the arguments by his acts." ________________________________________ Notes: Epictetus …

On suffering and healing

Currently, neuroleptics for schizophrenia, benzodiazepines for anxiety, antidepressants for depression. What have we found? The chemicals perturb the neurotransmitter systems of the brain. And the brain responds adapting to the local presence of the chemical. The easiest analogy with an engine, gas and brakes. For the depressed we found a way to add gas, fire …

State Defender. Objection: “Practical Impossibility”

Says the defender of the state: "All your idealistic theorizing is well and good. And you make some good points. But, theoretically justifiable though the private law society may be, it is just not practically possible to live without state." The objection is of a general form. The form is something like this: "It's too …

Defending the state

Often, after I have presented evidence that rape, assault, theft (taxation), fraud (currency debasement), murder and other such crimes are wrong, and in particular when I have shown my spotlight on that institution for which legitimacy is claimed for some of the above acts, and if my interlocutor has known me long enough to know …