Why Every Man Should Read “Robinson Crusoe”

robinson-35360_960_720

By any standard Daniel Defoe (1659?-1731) is one of the most remarkable authors in English history.  In versatility, energy, and practical wisdom, few can claim to be his peer in life experiences or in skill with the pen.  He came to writing by a circuitous route.  After fathering seven children, he threw himself into business and politics; bankruptcy was the result in 1692, but his repayment plan would eventually compensate his creditors almost in full with an amount of 17,000 pounds.

Continue reading

Six Ethical Principles To Rejuvenate Societal Health

soc4

I read recently that a very rare animal was observed in the wild in the state of Iowa for the first time in over one hundred fifty years.  It is called a fisher; I had never heard of it before, but the biologists tell us that it is a predatory mammal related distantly to the mink and the otter.  The story reminded me of a similar one I had heard about some years ago, when a bird believed to have been long extinct was spotted in Arkansas.

Continue reading

Money Is Of Secondary Importance In War

money1

Human nature being what it is, there will always be many different reasons why wars begin.  All of these reasons ultimately find their roots in human passions:  greed, the lust for power, or simply a desire to “put fortune to the test” (fortunam temptare) as the ancient Latin historians would say.

Continue reading

The World’s Fury, And The Spirit’s Repose

saudade

It should be a consolation to us to know that the world’s mindless injustices and furies are of old date. Every age sees and experiences them, and every man finds his own way of adapting himself to the clamor and tumult around him.  Some throw themselves into their work; others retreat into solitude; some find a balance between such extremes and navigate the white-crested waters of Fate as best they can.

Continue reading

A Fool Is Put In His Place

idiot

The following anecdote is related in Ibn Khallikan’s short biographical profile of the philologist and rhetorician Al Said.  His full name was Abu al-Said Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Isa Al-Raba’i.  Verbal abilities are highly prized in cultures with rich literary traditions, and this tale bears testament to this fact.

Continue reading