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THE FRAGILITY OF CURRENT STOIC RESTORATION MOVEMENT
—“Curt, it looks like the Daily Stoic has taken a Left Turn. Can you take a look?”—
One of my followers has complained about what she perceived as a ‘turn to the left’ by the Daily Stoic. She asked if I would investigate, since I am advocating the restoration of stoicism as required education – a restoration of our ancient personal religion so to speak.
My followers are unlikely to need training in stoicism in large part because they already practice the habits under indirect guise. Their interest and mine is political, economic, and evolutionary. The cognitive discipline (habits) Stoicism provides, produces superior polities.
Those polities are superior because they are less dependent upon falsehoods to govern. So the direction of the Stoic Restoration has more than trivial importance to me, and to them.
But what troubles me when I survey your (collective) approach, which is the imbalance between defensive self help and detachment – the trap fallen into by the Buddhists – and disciplined self-authoring in the excellences (‘virtues’), and in achieving one’s life’s goals (change).
In other words, without the COMPETITION between rational distance from your emotions, and pursuit of achievements in life, all one does is recreate abrahamic and buddhist detachment from reality. This produces no excellences, only defenses – submission to circumstance.
Western civilization was unique in that we developed Heroism, Individual Sovereignty, Truth and Duty, The Natural Law (of tort), and Markets in all aspects of personal, academic, intellectual, commercial, civic, and political life – avoiding theocratic or bureaucratic monopoly.
It was this set of traits that allowed us to develop all the paradigms (disciplines) all of which were united only by those few criteria above. This meant that law > jury > reason > empiricism > science > technology > medicine could evolve …
… and with them we could – in the ancient and modern if not medieval worlds – drag mankind kicking and screaming out of ignorance, superstition, hard labor, poverty, starvation, disease, child mortality, early death, tyranny, and the victimization by uncaring nature.
The means by which we achieved all of this was competition (markets). And the means by which the stoic virtues can be achieved without causing the same catastrophe that reverses the western achievement, is by both increased independence from our animal intuitions, and …
… application of that mind, emotions, and body, freed of those limits, to achieve the heroic at whatever scale of heroism the individual is able – no matter how large or small. To make the most of the one life we have available to us, in a manner must desirable to us.
Leaving this competition between unsaid, is to leave stoicism incomplete. And to fall into the errors we have seen in prior eras, which slowly cause a people to descend into what is emotionally comforting but in demonstration of consequence indifferent from nihilism.
In Sincerity and With Affection
The Propertarian Institute.
( From twitter stream: https://twitter.com/curtdoolittle/status/1068232096496390144)