On Foundations

To follow up a bit on my recent post on Herodotus, I’m now halfway into book two of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. To say it is a masterpiece is an understatement. I might go as far as to say it’s the most important and best history and military strategy book I have ever encountered.

Although politicians today are toothless, and generally give speeches of hot air, if you look at politicians and social or military leaders in history that have been of significance, in almost every instance they have inherited something from this work. The speeches of Pericles alone clearly established centuries of discussion of how a polis and eventually a nation-state should be handled.

If you are interested, I highly recommend this (with Herodotus as a prerequisite), and I recommend the lectures of Leo Strauss at St. John’s College in 1972 as an ancillary guide.

On the crest of a tweet

A decade ago, the newfound glories of Youtube, Twitter, Google, and other sites embodied promises of expression, freedom, and exploration. Now things have ossified into a monolithic repudiation of everything that created it, and it seems that rather than becoming John Galt, Silicon Valley has become Silas Lapham.

The once underground “hacking” community shares the same sentiment. Perhaps one day we will learn that, just as, no matter how hard we try, we’re not going to be able to do Communism “right”, celebrity culture eventually leads to graves.

Image from Robert Crumb “On the Crest of a Wave“, 1990