“Enchiridion” by Epictetus (c.125)

“Enchiridion” by Epictetus (c.125)

  • Things you can control:
    • opinion, aim, desire, aversion
      • all of your own affairs
      • by nature free & unrestricted
    • if you confuse them with things you can’t control, you’ll be sad & disappointed
    • if you focus purely on these, you won’t do anything against your will, won’t be harmed or have enemies
  • Things you can’t control:
    • body, property, reputation, office
      • all not of your own affairs
    • don’t go for these or you’ll only be disappointed if you don’t get them
      • avoid them to be happy
  • Think of unpleasant things
    • say to them: you’re just a semblance & you’re not real
    • Think: Is this within my control? Or not?
      • If in your control, or not, be prepared to walk away
  • Focusing on things you can’t control or can’t get will make you sad & disappointed
    • things you want to avoid but can’t will make you sad
    • things you want but can’t get will make you sad
    • Focus on things you can get & can control & make sure that your desires, opinions & avoidances are properly placed
    • Do so with discretion, gentleness & moderation
  • Remember to notice what category things are in (controllable or not controllable)
    • if a valuable object breaks, remember it’s just a thing
    • if a loved one dies, remember you can bear the pain if you choose to do so
  • When doing anything, remember to maintain your harmony with nature, no matter what happens
  • Disturbances come from views of things, not things
    • The thought of death is worse than death
    • Don’t put views into things & people
  • Don’t become elated by excellence or down by failure
    • Maintaining harmony with nature is most important
  • Be perpetually attentive to what’s most important, especially when around trivial things
  • Sickness or lameness is only a hindrance to the body
    • Don’t let it affect your will because you’ll be hindered twice
  • Whenever confronted by a situation, think:
    • How can I make the most of this?
    • Pain builds strength, annoyance builds patience
  • Don’t whine about losing things
    • You’ve been borrowing it & now it has been returned: people & things
  • Better to die of hunger w/o grief than to be affluent & in constant worry
    • Think: this is the price of peace & tranquility. Everything has its price. Nothing can be had for nothing
  • Don’t worry about looking like a fool to others
    • It’s hard to be in harmony with nature & maintain external appearances
  • Don’t wish to live forever
    • It’s not going to happen & you’ll only be disappointed when it doesn’t happen
    • Don’t make wishes for things you can’t control
  • Don’t yearn for your desires
    • Wait for it to come to you
    • At some point, you’ll be worthy to feast with the gods
    • Don’t always take things as they are laid out for you
      • If you can resist, then you can even command the gods
  • If you see someone grieving, don’t worry
    • Think: what hurts him is the view he allows himself to have of it
    • You may groan along with him but don’t groan on the inside
  • Remember, you’re just an actor in a play
    • The author may cast you as a cripple, a peasant or a king
    • Play your part to the best of your ability
  • Nothing is portended to anyone or anything
  • You’ll be unconquerable if you only fight battles you can win
    • Don’t be bewildered by appearances, honors, etc
    • Don’t wish for high roles – just focus on what you can control
  • Allow terrible things to appear so you’ll be used to them & won’t panic
  • If you are prone philosophy be prepared to be mocked
    • If you are persistent, they’ll come around & admire you
  • Don’t worry about not being believed
    • What’s it to you to get power based on people’s belief?
    • Friends who don’t believe you aren’t much as friends
    • Better to have self-respect & harmony w/ nature than to worry what others thing
  • You can learn about nature through things everyone agrees with
    • Things break & people die
  • Before you do something, think about what you have to do before & after as well as during
    • You may not know how to prepare for success or how to deal with consequences
    • In participating in the Olympics, you have to follow rules, eat right, exercise, practice, etc
      • If you don’t prepare, you could hurt yourself or suffer defeat & swear off the activity
    • Think before you do & you’ll be much more likely to succeed
  • Duties are independent of relations
    • Whether or not your father is good or bad, your duty to him is the same
    • You’ll only be hurt when you consent to be hurt
    • Think of your duties as family member, citizen, neighbor or commander
  • If something’s not in your power, it can’t be good or bad
    • it’s indifferent to you
    • It’s within your power to make the right use of it
  • Piety toward the gods
    • Have the right opinions of them
    • Obey them & yield to them
      • You’ll never find fault with them or think they neglect you
      • If you focus on good/bad events you’ll be disappointed
  • Forge a character you can have in public or alone
    • Be mostly silent & say only what needs to be said
    • Don’t go into discourse too often
      • if you do, don’t focus on vulgar topics: sports, food, drink or people
      • Don’t take oaths if you can help it
    • Only eat & drink what you need
      • same with clothes, home & company you keep
      • nothing for show or luxury
    • Don’t fool around women too much
      • don’t brag about doing so
      • don’t condemn those who do
    • If someone speaks badly of you, think:
      • He was ignorant of the real me
    • Refrain from acclamations, derision & violent emotions
    • In private events, maintain your dignity & gravity
    • If before anyone in power, hope he doesn’t notice you
      • if you can’t avoid it, just deal with it
    • Don’t brag about your adventures
  • If you are excited about anticipated pleasure
    • allow it to wait for your leisure or some delay
    • If it’s not too gratifying, go ahead but don’t get carried away
  • When doing something needed to be done
    • Don’t hide from being seen doing it
    • If people misunderstand think:
      • Why do people censure me for it?
  • When at a feast, don’t pig out
    • You might have a huge appetite but have some courtesy for the host
      • You have to balance hunger & etiquette
  • You try to avoid walking on nails b/c they hurt
    • do the same with your mind
      • take care before acting
  • Women over the age of 14 are flattered by being someone’s “mistress”
    • they are only qualified to give pleasure to men
    • They begin to adorn themselves
    • But they will only truly be honored if they appear beautiful in demeanor & modestly virtuous
  • You look stupid only worrying about the physical
    • Exercise, drinking, eating
    • You look like an animal
    • Apply strength to reason
  • Everything has 2 handles
    • one by which you can carry & one by which you can’t
    • learn which one is which & act accordingly
  • Makes no sense to say:
    • I’m richer than you therefore I’m better than you
    • I’m more eloquent than you therefore I’m better than you
  • Makes more sense to say
    • I’m richer than you therefore I have more stuff than you
    • I’m more eloquent than you there for my style is better than yours
  • If someone does something that seems wrong outwardly, withhold opinion
    • until you know his motives completely
  • Don’t tell people you’re a philosopher or talk to them about your principles
    • Show them by your actions naturally
  • Don’t publicize your virtue
  • A vulgar person looks to the external world for help or confirmation
    • A proficient person looks within
  • To understand nature, follow her
    • make use of instructions
  • Follow principles as laws & ignore the detractors
    • How long will you allow yourself to delay improvement?
    • Will wallow until your death regretting it
  • Don’t lie. Learn why not to lie. & Learn what a good demonstration of why not is.

“The Character of Socrates” by Xenophon

“The Character of Socrates” by Xenophon

  • Socrates always said what was on his mind to friends
    • Also made sure that they were independent enough to pursue the avenues they were suited for
    • He knew all his friends very well – often probing their minds w/ questions
  • He taught his friends w/ all his heart the things a person ought to know, & at least be familiar w/ any subject
    • Geometry – Good for surveying & owning property, & being able make use of the land. Going too far into it excluded research into other subjects
    • Astronomy – helped plan journeys by land or sea. It helped hunters & pilots measure distances & directions. But trying to know why the gods made the heavens that way wasn’t possible to understand & trying to do so would drive you crazy
    • Arithmetic – good for business & geometry – but don’t get carried away!
    • Health – you should learn all you can from those who know what to eat, drink & how to exercise
  • He was often forewarned by a deity of what to do & what not to do. Some thought he was crazy for this – he wasn’t.
  • He lived w/ a death sentence hanging over him for 30 days. It was so long b/c it was during the month when it was illegal to execute prisoners
    • But during this period, he lived exactly how he lived before
    • When he had been indicted, he wouldn’t even discuss the case.
      • When pressed on trying to build his defense, he replied:
        • “Don’t you think I have been preparing for it all my life?”
    • He refused to stop his way of life because his life had been growing in goodness
      • If he were to live on, he would have died of old age soon anyway
  • He felt if he were to die unjustly, let those who killed him bear the shame of killing him
    • Posterity judges the dead based on the injustice they did much more than the injustice they had to bear
    • He said he’d be remembered fondly, much more than those who took his life because he lived his life to make others better & to corrupt or wrong nobody.
  • Anyone who knew Socrates knew what sort of a man he was & they searched for virtue & helped out anyone in their own quest
    • He was so religious that he did nothing without consulting the gods
    • He was so just that he did no injury to anyone
    • He was so self-controlled that he never chose the pleasanter over the better course
    • He was so wife that he need no counselor & never erred in his judgment of good & bad
      • He suggested that everyone follow virtue & gentleness
        • Seemed to be a truly good & happy man.

David Hume – Of the Study of History

History will show that that hat was not the best idea.

David Hume – Of the Study of History

  • Hume advises women of the 1700s to study history
  • Women tended to eschew history & the like for fiction
    • Gives a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives to a girl he likes
      • Tells her that it’s fiction
      • She likes it at first until she figures out that Alexander & Caesar were real people
      • Does this w/ lots of women to tease them about their aversion to history
  • Much get out of reading History
    • It’s fun
    • it improves your understanding of the world
    • it gives examples to improve your virtues & minimize your vices
  • It’s fun to go back in time & look at places that are completely foreign to us
    • look at early art & sciences
    • see how gov’ts worked & how/why they change over time
    • you see how human society & inventions perfect life
    • see how the times informed people’s vices & virtues
  • Improving our knowledge
    • Often called being erudite
      • really just knowing what happened
      • Might be a luxury to have the time to learn about the rest of the world
      • ought to know about your own country & Greece & Rome
    • history is the passing off of knowledge
      • leading to passing off of knowledge in sciences across time & across national borders
      • it is a way of living since the beginning of time
      • & learning for past experiences
  • Poets & Philosophers help improve our virtues
    • Poets by praising them
    • Philosophers by defining them & defending them
    • History shows how people have gone astray from virtue
  • Machiavelli
    • As a political man
      • Gives excuses for murder, assassination, perjury
    • As historian
      • says vice is bad & shows historical evidence on how going on the wrong path leads to bad results
    • Philosophers speak in abstract manners
    • Historians show how people & societies stray from or stick to virtues & the consequences of those actions

U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776)

All right… Who farted?

Declaration of Independence (7/4/1776)

  • 13 colonies state that the Laws of Nature give them the ability to dissolve their union with the British government with a list of reasons to explain this.
  • It’s self-evident that all men are created equal.
  • They have unalienable rights given by nature or the Creator – life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
  • A government must be consented to by those it governs and when it stops representing the people, they have a right to abolish it and put a better one that suits them.
  • This is not something you do on a whim but we feel like the government has been abusing us and we intend to establish our own government.
  • We’ve prepared a list of things that has pissed us off about the king:
    • He refuses to assent to or pass our laws for the public good.
    • He’s forbidden governors to pass our laws or just ignored them altogether.
    • He’s refused us to pass laws over here without relinquishing our right to any representation in Parliament.
    • He’s made it difficult for any legislature to convene just to get them to stop trying.
    • He’s dissolved Parliaments so many times that we’ve lost count.
    • After dissolving Parliament, he’s delayed any elections indefinitely leaving the people to take the law into their own hands making the country vulnerable from crime in the country and aggressive foreigners.
    • He’s prevented the naturalization of the non-British and prevented us from moving westward.
    • He’s blocked courts from working properly.
    • He’s made judges so nervous about their pay and safety that they can’t perform their duties anymore.
    • He’s created jobs for men just to eat us out of house and home through taxes.
    • He’s lodged soldiers with civilians in peace time.
    • The army has become completely independent and unanswerable to the people.
    • Soldiers have literally gotten away with murder.
    • We’ve been alienated from Parliament but are still subject to laws.
    • We’ve not allowed to trade with anyone but the British.
    • He’s imposed taxes on us against our will.
    • He’s deprived us of trial by jury.
    • When accused, we’re often carted off to England to be tried.
    • He’s applied an arbitrary government in Québec and we don’t know if you’ll do the same here.
    • He’s taken away colony charters and changed the nature of our governments against our will.
    • He’s suspended legislatures on a whim.
    • He’s declared us rebel and blocked our harbors – an act of war.
    • He’s used the army to wreak havoc in our lives.
    • He’s hired Germans to kill anyone labelled as a “rebel”.
    • He’s impressed unassuming men and forced them to fight them against their country.
    • He’s incited anti-American violence and invited Indians to wage war on us.
    • We’ve tried patch things up but he only punishes us more and we’ve decided we’ve had enough
  • We’ve warned the British not to ignore us and use its legislature as a weapon on us. We came here for a reason. We are the same people as the British and begged them for our rights and mercy and we’ve only gotten shit for it. We must break-off from them.
  • So, that’s it. We are a body of elected representatives appealing to God and reason that it is only right these 13 colonies claim complete independence and absolve ourselves of any loyalty to the crown.
  • We have the power to wage war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce and do what independent state states need to do.
  • We’re relying on the goodwill of God or fate to support this declaration and pledge to each other our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.

“Upon Some Verses of Virgil” by Michel de Montaigne (1580-1595)

Loosy, you got some 'splainin to do.

Loosy, you got some ‘splainin to do.

“Upon Some Verses of Virgil” by Michel de Montaigne

Montaigne is getting older and all he’s got left is to look back at life. He wants to live a comfortable life but wants to be temperate and moderate. This is difficult because comfort requires avoiding pain and that means going toward pleasure, the opposite of pain.

It’s strange that we are free to think whatever we want but we aren’t free to say whatever we want. He finds it sad that women can only really have his books around as a part of the furniture rather than something to be read. He enjoys female company and wants them to appreciate his work.

Why is it that we blush at the talk of sex but we are just fine with talking about robbery, betrayal and murder? When we strip ourselves of being able to talk about some topics, we stop ourselves from being able to talk about parts of life.

The idea of marriage is distant to our biological need for sex in pleasure and procreation. Marriage usually falls apart when sex is the sole focus instead of friendship, which is a much stronger foundation for a marriage. A good marriage should be based on friendship, much more so than sex and love. Love makes us weaker and less rational. Marriage is about duty and friendship rather than passion, which is something that causes us to resent one another in the end. It’s clear why few men make their mistresses their wives because they want the passion to remain and not have a shitty marriage. Marriage is still good but love is purely based on pleasure and that tends to be irrational and intemperate.

Women aren’t really to be blamed. Men and women are subject to the same desires and emotions but somehow society punishes them for acting on them. They are trained from a very young age to be simple in the ways of love, dress, language and knowledge when it comes to sex. We should relax our standards a bit because they have bad consequences.

Men are supposed to flaunt their virile physical traits while women are supposed to hide their femininity. A lot of images of woman are representations of temptation but not so for men. This is an idea that women are weaker than men morally. But even the greatest warriors, like Alexander and Caesar wouldn’t compare to a woman who successfully restrains herself from all that “tempts” her. It’s stupid to bridle in a woman what is completely natural.

Societies differ in roles of love, sex and marriage for men and women. Looking at those differences may make our culture seem a bit silly. But life is half serious and half silly. And ignoring the silliness of sex and love and solely focusing on the serious side of life in to ignore half of life. There are things to be serious about but not 100% of the time.

Laziness is bad but so is working constantly. You need to work but you also need to put your feet up. That is a part of moderation. We shouldn’t completely forget about physical pleasure but we shouldn’t completely submit to it either.

We should hold women to the same standard as men. Not higher, not lower. Men and women are cast in the same mold and the only real difference is education and the roles we play in society.

“That it is Folly to Measure Truth and Error by Our Own Capacity” by Montaigne (1580-1595)

We often think only stupid people believe in crazy shit. Normally developed minds tend to resist wild beliefs. Perhaps an uneducated mind can’t discern rational from irrational and likely from unlikely. But throwing things out as utterly impossible is silly too because there’s plenty that even the smartest of us doesn’t understand. I used to mock people who believe in witchcraft, ghosts, miracles, etc. But I go more lightly on them even though my rational side tells me not to. When we decide that this is true and that is not true, we are claiming knowledge about the nature of truth as if we are above it or have a deep understanding of it. That’s bad especially when we show ourselves to be wrong so often.

A man who’s never seen a river before might think that he’s looking at the sea. But later on, experience will usually (hopefully) let him know that he’s wrong. When we see people believing in wild shit, let’s give them the chance to turn it around – a chance for that experience to kick in before we criticize them.

History books are full of stories that never happened or are recorded wrong. People have learned of victories before they happen and the sequence of events ends up being completely out of order. We shouldn’t really lay into Plutarch just because we got facts that dispute his claims many years after he had written.

It’s arrogant to treat others with contempt for what we don’t even understand ourselves. You probably believe in wilder shit than the stuff you criticize others for believing. We shouldn’t criticize others religions, beliefs and denominations when our own beliefs are every bit as crazy as theirs. Think about the contradictions in your beliefs before you attack others for their crazy beliefs.

“Politics Book I” by Aristotle (350 BC)

“Politics Book I” by Aristotle (Notes)

"...Those plebes don't even know it's 'hoi polloi' and not 'the hoi polloi'. What a bunch of knobs."

“…The riffraff don’t even know it’s ‘hoi polloi’ and not ‘the hoi polloi’. Straight from the Department of Redundancy Department. What a bunch of knobs!”

1. The state is a sort community and is set up to achieve some sort of good. That’s the nature of mankind – to achieve what they think is good. Since a community is made of many men, their good must be higher than an individual’s since they are an accumulation of men. The only difference between a statesman, king and householder is the number of subjects. A ruler of a few is a master. Over more is the manager of a household and over even more is a statesman or king. A statesman is the leader of a society where the people are the rulers and the leader of a one-man led society is a king. The only difference among them is the number of people they rule over. If you want to learn more about what they do, you should start off looking at the smallest and simplest form and then expand out from there. So, let’s test and see if this is really what the state is for.
2. Humanity consists of two sorts of relationships: between man and woman and between master and slave. The relationship between man and woman is for the continuation of humanity as well as the raising of children. Woman has a high place in the raising of children and the running of a household but the man is the master. The relationship between master and slave/servant is based on one man commanding the running of the household as a business. The master’s command of the affairs of the house are dependent on his ability to command servants, understanding the ground in which the crops are planted, how the animals are to be cared for and how the food/products are to be shipped into market. Extrapolating from one household, a community is built in the same manner but of many households. At this point, society no longer consists of self-sufficient households but of many inter-dependent households who must deal with each other to survive.
The state is superior to that of the family because it is larger and needs to be conducted in an efficient manner. If one household were to be cut off from the body of the state, it would be the equivalent of losing a foot from the body – a painful damage but not necessarily a lethal excision. A healthy state is one within which the individuals are able to provide the most good for themselves and others. This is one with justice in it.
3. Since the state is made up of households, let’s talk about them for a bit. They consist of slaves and freemen. Boiled down to the essentials, that’s the master and the servant, and the man and wife, and the business aspect of the household. In the master-servant relationship, there is an art or science behind running a household. The master must choose the number of servants, the type of work they do, how they all work together and how the distribution of work and materials are decided and managed. Some say that relationship of the master and servant isn’t right and is unnatural. We’ll leave that for another debate.
4. Property is an important part of the household. You’ve got to have all the necessities to live well and to run a business well. Your workers must have the proper tools and instruments to do their jobs. A servant is in many ways an instrument important to the household – actually more important than other non-living tools because he commands the tools himself.
5. Is slavery a violation of nature? It seems necessary and natural that one thing be ruled and one to rule them. It makes sense that this distinction be drawn from the moment of one’s birth. And there are many different types of rulers and ruled. Ruling over men is more productive and higher than ruling over animals. In this case, the work is better, more efficient and more complex than with animals.
About ruling: there is always the threat of violence or physical force behind the enforcement of the ruler-ruled relationship. Within the individual, the soul rules over body. When the reverse happens, the results are really bad. Control is divided into two parts: despotic and constitutional. The soul’s control over the body is despotic in that the soul has exerted its superiority over the soul and rules it as a superior. The intellect rules over the appetites constitutionally because both need to be satisfied equally in order for both to flourish.
This superiority-inferiority extends to man’s relationship with animals and man’s relationship with women. The body is functionally the servant of the soul, just as the animal is the servant of the man. The man-servant relationship is higher with slaves because the slave understands his servitude, while an animal doesn’t. The way freemen and slaves differ from one another is not in body, but in soul.
6. “Slave” and “slavery” are used a lot – in law and in nature. In law, it is the loser of a battle who is taken by the victor. Many people disagree about whether or not this is a good or fair thing – to be master over another through strength and violence. Philosophers differ in that. The origin of the dispute might justify this battle and subsequent slavery. If the battle was a virtuous, the consequence of it must be virtuous as well – that is, if the battle was about justice, then the result is a just and virtuous one. According to some versions of justice, war can be in accordance to custom of war. But what about if the cause was unjust? Many people tend to claim slavery is unjustified when it’s one of their own people enslaved and don’t think so when other people are enslaved. Justice is not purely limited to one party being assigned the role of master or servant but is mostly on how one performs those roles. They do have a common interest and the natural role of the two depends on how they fulfil their roles.
7. The role of the master is not constitutional. The rule of a house hold is a monarchy with everybody under one person: the master. Constitutional rule is a government of freemen and equals. The role of the master is not based on his knowledge but his character as a master, just as a slave’s role is based on his character. There is still a science behind each one fulfilling his role. Just as you can improve knowledge of any other art, knowledge of the role of master or servant can always be improved and expanded. The master must know how to order the slave to execute his role. He must also tend to his needs and help improve his work too. The role of master is not confined to buying slaves but also managing them.
8. What is the role of making money in the management of the household? Is it the same thing? Is it just a part of it? If so, how big of a part of it? It’s clear that they aren’t exactly the same thing because you need other things besides money to run a household. You can make money through various means. Even in the same means there are different parts. For example, if you make your money by providing food, you can provide meat, wheat, etc. They are different in that they are plants and animals. If you talk about meat, then you have cows, sheep and pigs. Some eat meat, some don’t. Each animal has a different art of its care, which requires knowledge of each in order to manage the farm. You could also be a fisher, which requires you to live near the sea, know how to sail and understand the water. That knowledge isn’t transferrable to living on the land. Some people get by on both. On the land, you’ll find out some animals require a lot more care than others in many ways.
You will need wealth to make managing a household an easier task. Also, money is not in unlimited supply, so you will need to understand how to distribute the wealth within the household’s domains in order to run it properly. This is art is similar to what the ruler of a society must do – balance his abilities to take care of many things so that society on the whole can run properly.
9. Bartering is a grey area in this aspect. If you make shoes, you’re making them to be worn, not to be traded for something else. The shoe’s primary purpose is to be worn and a secondary purpose is to be traded for something else. You can say the same about all possessions – that they aren’t made to be traded, they are made for a purpose (wearing, eating, etc.) and the trade of them is secondary to the original function of the good. Retail trade isn’t the primary purpose of production. The surplus of production would not exist if it weren’t for exchange because the producer would have stopped when he had enough. Beyond the singular household is where surplus becomes important and where the benefit to society from the surprise starts. If the household still needs something it looks to other households to fulfill those needs.
The necessity of money came around when households didn’t have coinciding needs. It’s not really natural, but it helps households acquire things when they don’t have a bartering partner. From that point, exchange grew increasingly complex. They started applying the concept to money to various useful metals which were then coined into standard sizes to help with the transactions. The art of wealth-acquisition was born as a result of this.
There is a difference between the art of getting wealth and the art of acquiring coins. There is no limit to the pursuit of acquisition of coins. The art of wealth-getting has a limit – that is the limit of what it buys for the use of the household. Acquiring coins has no limit because your pile of money can always grow and grow. But you will eventually run out of things you can use in the production in your household. Desires can be unlimited because the desire will grow beyond the household surviving to living well (which has no limit) and that depends on wealth. If they aren’t able to fulfill their pleasures, they turn their attention to “unnatural things”. The art of running a household has a natural limit.
10. The art of wealth-getting is the business of a household manager and statesman because wealth is presupposed. Political science doesn’t make men but takes them from nature and uses them in the same way that nature provides the sea and the earth and man uses them for his purpose. In the same way he is like a weaver, who does not make wool but uses it. He has to know what kind of wool to use and how to use it. Wealth-getting is useful for other arts like medicine. Household management is a subordinate art because it requires the use of more general arts like wealth-getting.
The first part of wealth-getting is important and honorable – household management – because it is natural and exchange occurs justly. The second part – retail trade – is not honorable and is unnatural because it makes money out of money itself. It increases money based on interest and requires the attention of pure devotion to the accumulation of coins, rather than production.
11. The knowledge of wealth-getting starts with knowledge of livestock – how profitable they are, the different types, what they are used for and how to take care of them. Then is husbandry – how to till and plant, keep bees, fish and fowl and other animals. Then comes commerce in three forms: the provision of ship, conveyance of goods and exposure for sale. Then comes usury and then service for hire (in skilled mechanical labor and also unskilled labor). There is also the provision of resources in the cutting of timber and mining minerals. Each of these have many branches of their own.
These arts become more “illiberal” the more they require physical effort from men. The more these subjects become researched and their techniques perfected, the more useful they become to the art of wealth-getting. What is required is not only the ability to come up with such techniques but also the ambition to use them in order to accumulate more wealth. This skill must be applied to the management of the state’s household.
12. In the management of a household, there is also the relationship between father and children and husband and wife. The male is a fitter commander than the female in the same way that the elder is better than the younger. In constitutional states, the citizens are rulers and are ruled by the rules. In a family, the nature form is men ruling over the women. The rule of a father over his children is royal because he rules out of love and out of older age and experience.
13. It also seems more natural for a man to be the manager of acquisition of inanimate objects and to human management of freemen as well as management of slaves. There is an excellence within slaves because they are completely capable of virtues in his life: temperance, courage, justice, etc. The have a rational principle and it’s silly to think they are incapable of virtue. Women and children are also capable of virtue. We must think of virtue and whether or not it is being followed and achieved not in one’s ranking in society but in the fulfillment of one’s role within his place in society. Since we all occupy different places and different ranks in our society, our virtue depends on how justly, temperately and courageously we play our roles.