Read it all.
Wow, what a piece. Maybe you should get together with Buppert since I’m not your cup of tea. He’s HUGE on Stoicism and learned beyond belief. Big-time military guy and leader too; I know that’s important here.
“Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature.”
Yes! The mind is man’s basic means of survival and the basic function of a mind is simple—accurate (correspondent) identification. I’m glad at least someone can get away cleanly, writing of epistemology.
“…something larger than themselves.”
Okay, so nothing’s perfect. The flawed underlying premise, if you’re willing to face it, is that THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS INTRINSIC VALUE. You’re in good company though, since Rand effectively made the same mistake.
This is Grade A philosophy, any nits notwithstanding. Maybe it’ll lead others to its philosophical foundation (IMO), both historically and factually—Epicureanism, perhaps the most maligned and misunderstood philosophy ever. Of course it has to be taken as a philosophy and not a science book, let alone a political primer. There’s a reason the Church has been so virulently anti-Epicurean forever. Maybe it’s worth discovering why that is.
But let’s part on a good note. What a classic—
“The fourth lesson deals with how happiness can only be found within and again makes use of Epictetus’s writings—this time in the form of his teaching that freedom is the only worthy goal in life and that ‘happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power: your will, your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved, and the use you make of your ideas’.”
Is happiness your goal? Well, there it is—3 steps to get there. Just be sure not to skip Number One and pay close attention to Number Three.
Egoism, Rationality, Capitalism…that’s what those three things say effectively. Your will, your logic, your implementation with others. Get it and this whole mess becomes but a memory. Talk about timely; thanks T.
Summary: You can not control events, at best you can only influence them. However, you have absolute control over your reaction to events.
The quote by Admiral Stockdale (which required much contemplation to wrap my head around it) coupled with the article by DTG, place reality out in full front and dead center. Not everyone will be able to face reality. That’s why some will just die without a fight.
The up side is that, many, in increasing numbers, are facing reality and deciding to not just roll over…..
Upon reading this, the historical example Samuel Whittemore comes to mind.
Stoic: just another word for indifferent. All morality is relative. Just because a person believes their morality is ‘the truly true’ morality doesn’t validate anything. Greek philosophy made man the measure of all things. Emotions are a vital part of the soul and spirit. They are necessary. To crush your emotions thru Stoicism will diminish your humanity. A person can learn to be ‘thick-skinned’ without becoming indifferent. The LORD, who created heaven and earth, is not indifferent to anything. The LORD is not stoic.
Stoicism is not indifference. Might want to do a bit more reading.
Thanks for the feedback, though.
I searched through that article for the word “emotion”. My reading is that emotions are to be controlled, not completely eliminated. We have emotions for a reason (probably connected to survival) but uncontrolled emotion does not seem to be a very good survival strategy.
Thanks, Jim. The best part of Stoicism is that it is a livable set of rules and a guide to being good and acting well and in the end, dying well.
I recommend the following resources to get better acquainted with the philosophy:
My top three books for the noviate:
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
A Man in Full
The Emperor’s Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations
There is a huge panoply of books on Amazon; my Stoic wishlist already has 55 books and I have a considerable library at home. I did a talk at PorcFest in June on the link between the ancient Stoics and modern libertarianism and that is a book project for me next year.
Here is a partial list: http://www.amazon.com/Stoicism/lm/R2JTZ08CU60AB7/ref=cm_srch_res_rpli_alt_8
This a terrific resource and dirt cheap on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Stoic-Epicurean-Philosophers-Epictetus/dp/B000GSRZTK/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414773799&sr=8-2-fkmr2&keywords=extant+writings+stoicism
No passion-no success. Know passion-know success.
To overcome the effects of the gravity(society) which is constantly working to keep you down, a person MUST exert more energy and force than nature itself to rise above it. Not many have this driven inspiration-or passion, to achieve this.That’s why only a few ever really get ahead in life and the rest just accept their place in it. It’s sad that humans- for the most part, never attain their full potential.
A-Team: You have mentioned you are of the 1% financially.
Have you considered making a significant donation to the III Society, the TOC, or to buy several scholarships that Max or J.C. or other trainers can give out to Patriots who can’t afford to attend classes on their own?
Without a few guys in the 1% willing to help, every step in recovering Rightful Liberty will be uphill.
You were on your way here last Sept. remember? You decided to cancel. Turned me off a bit. I told you I had some serious contacts in Detroit. I’ve talked about such to some of them. We’re having a pow wow at deer camp next month. Mr Big has a 10,000 sq ft “cabin” real close to me. I’ll let you know how it goes.
You remember why I canceled, yes? You’re entire team backed out on you. I don’t teach 1-man classes. But that doesn’t stop you from supporting many of the Patriots on these blogs who would like to train in SUT/Comms/Medical/etc – you could buy scholarships for them, or find other ways to help. Money is the blood of Resistance.
No. They didn’t back out. You were busy taking care of details in ID. We rescheduled the following week. It just so happened opening day of bear season was on that very day. I was doing it for them, not me. No sweat dude. My heart and wallet was in the right place. Always is.
Enjoyed reading it and gave me some other things to consider researching.
so now she can come and go as she pleases…. they will be watching her…. MAYBE….
Stoically facing the facts of reality tells me the future is NOT “World Made By Hand”. Mankind is not under the thumb of totalitarian extraterrestrial aliens, mankind is actually free to do whatever it wants. The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.
Orbital rocketry used to require a national-sized effort, nowadays SpaceX can do it with 600 employees. Turbine blades are being constructed by 3D printing of Titanium. I hear rocket engines are being constructed with 3D printing as one of the steps. We will be able to seek our own fortunes in space, the final frontier, beyond the grasp of the totalitarians in about ten years. The meek will inherit the Earth.
That article was so disgusting I almost had smoke coming out of my ears. All I could think of was Ted Turner and his genius wife, speaking of disgusting. Anyone who thinks the MSM isn’t the Ministry of Propaganda, should read that one.
lol. I know.
Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.
Say what! Am I the only one in the room who actually knows what Marcus Aurelius did with his Roman Legions to expand the Empire; key word being Empire? (Always take three steps backward and look at the big picture.)
Is the author advocating that Stoicism allows us to happily invade our neighbor’s communities, murder the indigenous defenders, steal anything of value, enslave the survivors, and at the same time “rid yourself of ‘moral relativism’ and embrace some absolutes when it comes to the moral code that you will operate under.”?
Quoting from the article, “Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.” Would these “destructive emotions” trigger shame, pity, compassion or empathy?
Marcus Aurelius was a useful psychopath who evidently used Stoicism to efficiently carry out his psychopathy and still feel good about himself (but isn’t that what psychopaths always do?). When you hear the terminology “Roman Empire”, think “Mafia with Swords.” If you want a meaningful snapshot of the Roman Empire in action investigate the death of Archimedes.
I would suggest that next year the Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra task the author to teach a lesson titled: The Ethics of Empire and the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP).
— A graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College and a proud Barbarian of Gaul.
Development of stoic attributes for a contemporary American citizen involved in training as a NPT leader or member helps that individual nullify emotional judgements during SHTF scenarios by use of reason and logic in order to be an ‘execellent’ human being, which by definition, would exclude invasion/enslavement of neighbors, etc, as provided as an example by the ‘Barbarian of Gaul’.
Moral relativism is a progressivist idea that contaminates reason and logic through the appeal to emotion for the adoption of a specific objective that may or may not be in line with the end state objective of the Restoration of Rightful Liberty. It needs to be dumped, now.
DTD: Thanks for providing us a great opportunity to exercise our brain-muscles and explore and discuss the “… use of reason and logic in order to be an ‘excellent’ human being….” I’m with you 100%, but would it not be helpful for NPT leaders and members to have something more specific and concrete to print out and put in their SHTF Continuity Binders (a one page checklist)? If Moral Relativism is bad, then Moral Absolutism is good? And Moral Absolutism combined with reason and logic produces what? Has no one in the history of Western Civilization ever written down a guiding set of moral principles that NPT leaders and members can readily use and understand? I don’t expect you to personally reinvent the moral wheel, but more specificity would be greatly appreciated?
Great topic of discussion!
A good paper on Moral Relativism can be found at: http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/Robert_Noggle/phl-118/moral%20relativism.htm
— Barbarian of Gaul
To speed up the process I’ve provided a draft document on NPT Moral Decision Making for your review and consideration (see below).
NPT Leaders Reference Guide for “Moral” Decision Making
***DRAFT Document: Dtd 4 Nov 2014***
• A normal, peace-time environment no longer exists (some form of WROL/ SHTF/ TEOTWAWKI/ war-time environment does exist).
• You are an adult and can made adult-level decisions.
• The environment is most definitely subject to change.
• You are operating without perfect information.
• You accept the moral, ethical, legal, and physical consequences of your decisions and actions.
• Once you put yourself under, or accept, someone else’s authority, they’ll be making most of the decisions, and you’ll be following their dictates.
• Normally, even “wars” have rules (e.g., Geneva Conventions, Law of Armed Conflict, Rules of Engagement).
• Not everybody plays by the rules at all times.
• The rules are subject to interpretation.
• Even if you absolutely don’t believe that “Might is Right” doesn’t mean the other guy isn’t a true believer (they are out there).
Moral Decision Making Guidelines/Principles:
• Using common sense, be as legal as you can for as long as you can.
• Using common sense, be as moral as you can for as long as you can.
• Being in a bad situation does give you license to be a monster.
• Vigorously apply the level of force needed (may include deadly force) to protect and defend yourself, your people and your property, and don’t apologize for it.
• To the best of your ability, never passively accept coercion, threats, injury, or intimidation aimed at you and yours—vigorously apply force as needed (to include deadly force if appropriate).
• What goes around normally comes around.
• If you’re wearing the enemy’s uniform (works both ways), you are the enemy (nobody is going to be checking ID cards and conducting interviews once the shooting starts). The uniform says it all.
• Individual rights are subordinate to the needs and interests of the group (if you can’t live with this reality, pack your duffel and shuffle… right out the front gate).
Note: Final document will require some form of peer review.
“Individual rights are subordinate…”
Fail. Individual rights are subordinate to NOTHING in a social context. This does not negate teamwork or even the necessity of putting the team as the highest value in a particular context…even if that decision means death. That is NOT the subordination of individual rights; it is the manifestation of them.
Unless this is understood, save your time and don’t even bother. That’s why Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty statement is key, precisely as written and precisely as meant.
There are a zillion ways to lose, and exactly one to win. Choose.
“Note: Final document will require some form of peer review.”
I wonder what a “peer” is. In one sense, there is no such thing; no two people are identical in all attributes. In another sense, everyone is a peer. Remember? It’s self-evident that ALL men are created equal in that sense. Either way, “peer review” says nothing except that you hope to have a gang big enough to kick everyone else’s ass.
Ho hum. If anything’s gonna change–i.e., if Tyranny is actually going to be stopped–then that’s what will change. You see, they already have the unbeatable gang if it’s just gonna be gang warfare. So in that event, why bother?
Here’s some more unassailable logic—it’s either gonna be Rightful Liberty or it ain’t. Which would you prefer?
Thanks for your feedback. First, I’d like to point out that my DRAFT document dated 4 Nov included a glaring error. The bullet statement with the error should have read, “Being in a bad situation does not (does not!) give you license to be a monster.” Creating a document like this needs to be group effort, not an individual effort.
The concept, or belief, that unfettered individual rights will not have to be constrained during what I will call “contingency operations” is not the experience of any military-type, or resistance, organization I’ve ever heard of (I’m starting to sound like John Mosby aka Mountain-G). Perhaps you can name one organization for us so we can understand what you’re trying to tell us. One good example would be very helpful.
I did my best to included “Rightful Liberty” principles in my DRAFT document. If you truly don’t understand that a “war-time environment” is different from a “peace-time environment” in terms of the unfettered exercise of individual rights, than I don’t know what to tell. I would assume that Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty statement was intended for a normal, peace-time environment. I could be wrong. If we could only go back in time and ask a soldier of the Continental Army if he was able to exercise unfettered individual rights during his enlistment, then we would have our answer. In a world of equal rights I guess there would be days where the privates were talking on the radio while the generals filled sandbags.
In your analysis of what is a “peer,” or does such a thing as a “peer” actually exist, I see in you, as I’ve seen in some of the people I deeply care about, a strange assumption that a wonderful theory will somehow magically defeat an ugly reality. It’s been my experience that an ugly-reality will kick a high-minded theory’s ass about 9 out of 10 times.
Oh yeah…we agree COMPLETELY about reality, and how words hold up against it. Not really well at 3,000fps, eh?
We agree about the reality of battle too. That’s why I wrote this—“This does not negate teamwork or even the necessity of putting the team as the highest value in a particular context…even if that decision means death.”
In a combat environment, a commitment means a higher chance of death. This is not under dispute either.
What’s under dispute is whether or not an individual has to sacrifice his values or his liberty to get the job done. The answer to that is a resounding “No!” and anyone who doesn’t realize this, better figure it out and get used to it.
That’s not because I say it or because I believe it; those have nothing to do with anything. It’s for the reasons YOU noted, about the nature of reality and the nature of combat. None of that is under dispute and NOTHING will lead to a WIN, except a willingness to step out of the maze that our Rulers (and intellectuals!) set up for us. Sacrifice is NOT Liberty; Choice is Liberty. Boon’s been writing it over and over—when enough good, decent people CHOOSE Liberty, then it’ll happen and Leviathan will be completely powerless against it.
You wanna buy into the Tyrants’ battlefields? Then go right ahead and try to out-do them at the very thing they’re best at—getting huge gangs together to run the rackets roughshod over the population. You’ll have a great legacy and others will honor the sacrifice you made…for nothing, nothing at all.
Me, I’m going with what I know and what I value. I’m like Boon. I figure that if enough Regular Joes make the commitment–and mean it–then the soldiering will work itself out. I’ve heard that more than a few well-trained Warriors believe in Rightful Liberty. I’m with them; are you?
Here’s the bottom line. It ain’t “Rightful Liberty except…” It ain’t, “Rightful Liberty unless this happens…” It ain’t, “Rightful Liberty until the War is over.” It’s none of that. It’s Rightful Liberty or it’s the same ol’, same ol’. Take your pick, but please don’t pretend that you’ll have your cake and eat it too.
Good discussion, but to clarify, let’s go back to the bullet statement that you find wrong or somehow incorrect, “Individual rights are subordinate to the needs and interests of the group.” Did you assume that the association with the group was voluntary or involuntary? It was my intent/assumption that association with the group was completely voluntary the day you voluntarily agreed to joined the group. (I was not completely clear on that issue; may mistake.) I should have made it completely clear that all members of the group had voluntarily agreed to be a member of the group.
Does this fix things for you?
Dear Mr. Jim “K”: (*** sarcasm follows ***) 6 Nov 2014
Thank you for participating in our interactive, on-line application and interview process.
Unfortunately, were must decline your application for membership in our organization at this time. The application and interview process has identified that you lack the personal attributes that we have found in all successful members of our group.
We wish you great success in finding a group that will voluntarily accept you as a valued, functional, member of their team.
And always remember the immortal words of George Jefferson who said, “Advocating Rightful Liberty is the highest order of the day right up until the second that some honky mofo puts a plastic bag over your head and starts to choke the …”, end of quote as we know it.
_____________ (*** Sarcasm Ends Here ***) ________________
Yes BofG, I got it; thanks. That’s all I was trying to say…since it’s voluntary or consensual, there is no subordination of rights. There is only getting the job done. You see, it’s a bone of contention here…apparently some folk think that behaving like sheeple and sacrifice your soul to the group, will magically produce a win. I say that a bunch of people working together, focused and willingly, will actually produce a win.
Funny stuff, SC. Yeah, the words of Rightful Liberty won’t stop the bullets of Tyranny, let alone an overpowering chokehold. Still, I think instead of trying to find a group that’ll have me, I’ll find some other individuals and we can make a group of our own. No doubt we’ll trade with other groups though, so we’ll see who has the most value to offer.
My favorite quote from the movie Black Hawk Down was from the character Hoot (Delta Force member): “Y’know what I think? Don’t really matter what I think. Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit just goes right out the window.”
Also, as a very interesting research exercise, read what I would assume is a mandatory reading assignment for every U.S. Army Special Forces soldier: “IRA Green Book Volume 1”. You can easily find it as a pdf document on the internet in several places. Notice the level commitment required of members.
Very enlightening and educational if you never been a member of a highly disciplined organization. It didn’t surprise me, but then it didn’t surprise me when I was told as a young paratrooper that if we were going to make a combat jump in high winds, and we would suffer 30% casualties on the jump alone, we would make the jump.
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