Capitalism’s Successor: Corporate Feudalism

Over the past several decades, corporations have steadily increased their power and control on society. One cannot fail to notice the symbols of this control everywhere around us. While driving down the interstate, flipping through television channels, or surfing the internet, one is bombarded by billboards, television ads, and sponsorships pushing products or services. CorporateContinue reading “Capitalism’s Successor: Corporate Feudalism”

Wisdom from Avatar: The Last Airbender

At ThinkingWest we take a special interest in the great books, however in this article we will focus on a different form of media: television. Though the passive nature of TV will always make it a less desirable medium for the development of the mind, certain content contains pros that outweigh the cons of theContinue reading “Wisdom from Avatar: The Last Airbender”

When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry

On November 8, 1519 Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his exploration party first made contact with Aztec emperor Moctezuma II. After a coup d’état resulting in the death of the emperor in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards found themselves at odds with the formidable regional power. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Spaniard’sContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry”

Searching for Wisdom: A Socratic Social Commentary

Few people are more renowned for their knowledge and wisdom than Socrates. Though a legendary thinker himself, the ancient Greek philosopher struggled to find the root of wisdom in the greater world around him and was executed for exposing the irrationality of his peers. His famous line, “all I know is that I know nothing”Continue reading “Searching for Wisdom: A Socratic Social Commentary”

When Civilizations Collapse (Part Two): Lessons From Rome’s Fall

Like the civilizations of the late bronze age discussed in our previous article, the Roman Empire declined due to a synthesis of several factors. Economic issues, barbarian invasions, weakening cultural bonds, and political corruption all contributed to the fall of the West’s greatest empire. Two factors particularly relevant to Americans today are military overextension andContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part Two): Lessons From Rome’s Fall”

How Good and Evil Ignore Tribal Lines

Every hero story, every epic fantasy tale ultimately distills into a force of good coming against a force of evil, and it’s the struggle between the two that drives an interesting plot, because it alludes to the battle between good and evil in our own world. In the polarized world, traditional morality has been thrownContinue reading “How Good and Evil Ignore Tribal Lines”

The Name of Christmas

It’s almost Christmas, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Every December of the past few decades has ignited a pop culture contest to reinvent the “meaning of Christmas”. Every modern Christmas movie has repeated the same old reimaginations of Christmas’ meaning: love, kindness, generosity, family, etc. At any time before the 20th century, didContinue reading “The Name of Christmas”

Applying Machiavelli to Life

“It is better to be feared than loved” is by far the most famous quote from Machiavelli’s The Prince, but the short book has much more to offer than a pithy statement voided of its true nuance (for Machiavelli importantly added “…if you cannot be both.” Written in 1513 for the new Florentine ruler, aContinue reading “Applying Machiavelli to Life”

The Importance of Good Conversation

Read Plato, St. Augustine, Jonathan Swift, Emily Bronte, or any other classic work and you’ll notice the authors’ composition, vocabulary, and coherence in thought far surpass those possessed by the vast majority of educated people today. Even students of our best liberal arts universities don’t emerge from their studies with the ability to write, speak,Continue reading “The Importance of Good Conversation”

Don Quixote and The Difference Between Wisdom and Intelligence

Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote excellently portrays wisdom’s distinction from intelligence through the character growth (or at least revelation) of Don Quixote and his trusted squire Sancho Panza. While both play the part of the fool in many respects, both exhibit moments of intelligence or wisdom throughout their adventures. The Intelligent Don Quixote Don QuixoteContinue reading “Don Quixote and The Difference Between Wisdom and Intelligence”