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Virtue is Strength

If you had to define virtue in one word it would be “strength.” In English we use the same root word when we say virility. Virility means a special kind of power. So does virtue.

The Stoic School teaches that strength is a good thing. This is basic to human nature and Nature in general. Nature rewards the strongest in a species with survival and progeny. Nature is a place of struggle. The earth is a place where all animals must exert constant activity to live and must exercise great strength to get ahead. Those who lose their energy fall behind and perish. 

Human society also rewards athletes of great strength or speed. You don’t find yourself wishing you were weaker, do you? 

But, the Stoic School teaches about a strength more powerful than muscles.

First, think about an army. History shows that the most athletic soldiers do not always win. A smaller army with better strategy and equipment often defeats a larger force. Why? Second, a runner or boxer who has beaten a certain opponent previously might lose to him during the Olympics because the opponent trained harder and kept a stricter diet. Third, a weaker army can rout a greater one when the stronger flees the battle field.  Fourth, The ancient play The Suppliants by Euripides illustrates a special kind of power. In the play, the women have no physical power to retrieve the bodies of their dead loved ones who were killed in a battle, because the victors wanted them to rot in the open and be eaten by animals, so what mysterious strength empowered the mothers, wives, and daughters to win?

Our cultural grandparents called the first kind of strength “Wisdom,” the second “Temperance,” the third “Courage,” and the fourth “Justice.”

1) Wisdom is “being smart,” “thinking things through,” “making good decisions.” 

2) Temperance is self-control, self-discipline, and the ability to choose the difficult path that is good rather than the easy paths that are bad.

3) Courage means fortitude, bravery in the face of danger and pain, and risking personal safety, wealth, and reputation in the interest of something more noble.

4) Justice is doing the right thing, recognizing a higher morality than even human laws, and successfully harmonizing with Nature rather than only reading and talking about it.

The Stoic School teaches that the purpose of human life is Virtue. 

Even in human society, Nature requires constant energy to live, to be healthy, to be wise, to control yourself, to be brave, and to be fair to all.

An evidence that Nature intends mankind to be virtuous is that Nature gave humanity the potential for all these strengths. We know of no other creatures with the potential to develop the four Cardinal Virtues as we mean them here. Nature has attributes that can only be understood by those who practice wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. We live in Nature more and more only as we grow in Virtue more and more. 

Another indication that Virtue is our purpose in life is that virtues bind us in stronger friendship with our fellow citizens, our friends, and our family. We are political animals. Nature provides no other species with a social structure anything like human society. There are no other species with commerce, technology, musical instruments, clothing, conversations, etc. anything like human society. But, along with our need to socialize in our uniquely human way, we see that virtue is what binds us together in the bonds of good faith necessary to produce thriving human societies. Individuals who practice Virtue are bound with their friends in stronger bonds of friendship and are praiseworthy among their countrymen. Those who practice vice suffer in their public and private relationships.

We call Wisdom, Temperance, Courage, and Justice the Cardinal Virtues. They remind us of the cardinal directions North, South, East, and West. With only four directions you can get from wherever you are to wherever you need to be in two-dimensional space.  In life, you need a different dimension of directions – virtues.

With the Cardinal Virtues, you can get from any circumstance you are in to where you need to be. The four virtues form a coordinate system that surely navigates you through your entire life, with “magnetic north” being the Good. Whatever crisis or reversal befalls you, the way to maintain happiness and to get where you need to be is always a combination of these four virtues.

The mother of all the virtues is Gratitude. All virtues are a combination of Wisdom, Temperance, Courage, and Justice, and those Cardinal Virtues come from Gratitude. Wisdom, Temperance, Courage, and Justice are the natural response to gratitude for what Nature has done for us, what our friends have done for us, and what our country has done for us.

Are You Being CAINED to Death?

by Marcus Aurelius

On May 5, 1994, the Western world was in an uproar over 18-year old American citizen Michael P. Fay. Mr. Fay  had pleaded guilty in Singapore to vandalizing cars and stealing street signs. Singapore sentenced Mr. Fay to four strokes from a cane. Caning is a routine form of punishment in Singapore. However, the Western media was up in arms about how barbaric caning was. Nevertheless, the authorities in Singapore caned Mr. Fay on May 5.

About two months later, the New York Times reported that the caning of only four strokes caused Mr. Fay flowing blood and permanent scars

The caning event showed a clear division between East and West in their different attitudes toward corporal punishment. But, if you change the spelling of caned slightly, you will get a much more important insight into a barbaric attack on Western Civilization today that comes from Eastern thinkers.

If you spell the word CAINED,

C stands for Censorship,

A stands for Arts,

I stands for Institutions,

N stands for Nagging,

E stands for Education, and

D stands for Diversity.

These six tactics are part of a conscious strategy to destroy Western Civilization. The individuals behind this strategy are primarily from Eastern cultures, and they have written openly about their intentions to eliminate the West. If you follow the Stoic School, you have already seen this proof. If you continue to follow the Stoic School, you will see in a short time the proof of how openly this strategy against the West is being deployed.

Censorship –  the effort to control what people in the West can and cannot say. This is the opposite of Western attitudes toward speech and access to information. The East, on the other hand, has an ancient and modern history of mind and speech control.

Art – the effort to corrupt the Western concept of art. For 26 centuries or so, the West has advocated a consistent view that art is not completely in the eye of the beholder. Western art is mostly objective, because it is an icon of the Good. It shows the highest of human achievement, rather than crucifixes in urine and other objects painful to see.

Institutions – the tactic of infiltrating the civic institutions of Western civilization to corrupt them. The family structure, sexual relationships, the court system, universities, media, political parties, churches, the military, social clubs, and others have all been targeted for transformation into something non-Western. This is because the individuals behind this overall strategy believe that the time-honored institutions of our civilization are the engines generating Western civilization.

Nagging – the incessant nagging or complaining that is the opposite of the Western ideal of strong men and women conquering life's problems and reversals with fortitude and temperance. Marxists like to call interminable nagging “critical thinking.” This is not, however, the higher thinking ability that allows Westerners to evaluate opposing points of view and to choose the most virtuous course of conduct. This nagging is like the most negative, mean-spirited, non-stop complainer you have ever come across. This tactic is seen in those that tear down anything Western – from its heroes to its piety and everything in between.

Economy – the assault on the economic power of the West. Eastern thinkers are envious of Western wealth, and if they can’t have it, they want to destroy it.

Diversity – the kind of diversity that only the West is pressured to adopt.

Forewarned is forearmed. We have been the champion of Western civilization for over 23 centuries, so we can assure you that the West will keep advancing – if you choose to do what works. This blog is all about what works. Don’t miss a post, and you will get a new lease on life. 

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