*Virtue Politics*

The author is James Hankins, and the subtitle is Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy.  Here is one excerpt:

I have sought to present the political ideas of the humanists as the expression of a movement of thought and action, similar in its physiognomy if not in its content to the movement of the philosophes of the Enlightenment.  It was a movement that was stimulated by a crisis of legitimacy in late medieval Italy and by widespread disgust with its political and religious leadership.  Its adherents were men who had wide experience — often bitter, personal experience — with tyranny.  They knew that oligarchs and even popular governments could be as tyrannical as princes.  Their movement was largely in agreement about its goals: to rebuild Europe’s depleted reserves of good character, true piety, and practical wisdom.  They also agreed widely about means: the revival of classical antiquity, which the humanists presented as an inspiring pageant, rich in examples of noble conduct, eloquent speech, selfless dedication to country, and inner moral strength, nourished by philosophy and uncorrupt Christianity.  The humanist movement yearned after greatness, moral and political.  Its most pressing historical questions were how ancient Rome had achieved her vast and enduring empire, and whether it was possible to bring that greatness to life again under modern conditions.  This led to the question of whether it was the Roman Republic or the Principate that should be emulated; and, once the humanists had learned Greek, it provoked the further question of whether Rome was the only possible ancient model to emulate, or whether Athens or Sparta, or even the Persia of Xenophon’s Cyrus, held lessons for contemporary statesmen.

An excellent book, you can order it here.


What happened to Thiago?

Is he tied up with the Climate Hoax Strike/Children's Crusade? Or, did he find a woman?

He stopped posting suddenly - I hope he is ok.

Once in a while Tyler or Alex post something interesting, but I come here for the characters, even the mouse. Tyler just sets the table for the food fight.

Me too.

He’s not dead in a favela. I’ve noticed him posting anti-India remarks under another name.

Btw, looking at the entry for favela at Wikipedia, one reads the following: “A favela (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɐˈvɛlɐ]) is a unique, low and middle-income, and unregulated neighborhood in Brazil that has experienced historical governmental neglect.”

Yes when I think of favelas, I think “unique “.

Or maybe some Americans don't want America to become India.

I don’t want America to become anything but great. You know, again.

If it were true, you wouldn't support the Indian invasion.

Per Bill, As long as yellow Asians are considered subhuman for college admissions, then sure. We’re at risk. We need to explain that their children are not worthy of comparison. They’re robotic automatons who should be ignored!!

Democracy Party 2020. It’s time to put them in their place. They’re not on our side. Asians are potential republicans. We need to stop their immigration. More Latinos fewer Asians.

Browns not yellows!!! Hasta la victoria siempre !

We need to adjust our demographics to be 70% Hispanic.

"They’re not on our side."
Maybe you should ask Indians and Chinese terrorizing Christians if they are in our site. Weren't those Mujahideen on our site back in the time? I think it is clear there is a infestation of invaders and it must rolled back.

Word salad. Both of you.

Vote Biden or Warren, and blue across the board. Free the innocent children from cages on the border. And keep the yellows from attending University.

Change we can Believe In.

Democrat 2020

Is that really you mouse? I don't think so, it must be a parody. The mouse would never say that stuff about Asians.

A whole subthread of proud trolls, confusing each other. Marginal Revolution in 2019.

I feel that we're watching something like the creation of neutronium in a star as electron degeneracy fails above the Chandrasekhar limit. Perhaps at a large enough density of trolls, the system collapses into a degenerate-troll-gas!

he has recoiled in disgust

Cowen's continuing series in the failure of democracy. We've had a continuing series of gospel lessons from Luke, each contrasting the rich man and the poor man. In today's lesson the rich man finds himself in Hades where he is in torment, and he could see far away the poor, beggar man, Lazarus ("even the dogs came and licked his sores"), who died at the rich man's gate, sitting beside Abraham. No, the purpose of the lesson isn't to condemn the rich man for being rich, but for his failure to see the poor, beggar man at his gate. We live in an age that idolizes the rich man for being rich. The rich man won't be judged for being rich, but will for his failure to see the poor man in every medium where he looks.

Interesting. In my city there is a very nice and well-stocked public library. It's open to everyone. There is a children only section - adults must be accompanied by a child to enter. Public meetings are held there, lectures, presentations, movies, games, art exhibits, books, videos, music, periodicals, you name it. There are even veterans and homeless services offices. It is a full service public place with something for everybody where everyone is welcome.

It was a gift from a robber baron during the depression - no strings attached.

What are our current billionaires doing with their money?

'What are our current billionaires doing with their money?'

Funding Prof. Cowen? You know, things like MRU or Emergent Ventures.

Some billionaire from Microsoft named Bill something is close to curing malaria, so....

Some other one named Warren is helping. Billionaires still do charity, except POTUS. Who's not actually a billionaire so I guess not a good example.

One of the Koch brothers donated a library to Deerfield Academy no strings attached.

Please don't mention western Massachusetts here - it's top secret.

Libraries as public meeting spaces are a leftist usurpation of a task properly handled by Starbucks and McDonalds.

Our library allows black people to come in and just hang out no problem. Starbucks calls the cops on black people. Starbucks is one of those places white people like.
Starbucks is too expensive and their pastries are stale.

That AND the decedent asks Abraham to send someone (from Hell) to warn his five brothers. Abraham tells him his brothers have Moses and the prophets; they will not obey a man risen from the dead, as was the case for many with the risen Jesus after the Resurrection.

Maybe Abraham should have given something to Lazarus if he was so worried.

No, the rich man didn't ask Abraham to send someone from Hell to warn his five brothers, he asked Abraham to send Lazarus. Lazarus! Dick the Butcher tries to turn the parable into an antisemitic post (because Jews weren't convinced by the risen Jesus).

That's why no one likes [expletive deleted] lawyers.

You're the one that made it solely "hate the rich."

Approximately six billion Earth people deny Jesus. I don't hate all of them, just you.

Since Jesus hates you, it's even.

Jesus threw the money lenders out of the temple because they were Islamic terrorists.

They have been pissed off ever since.

Strange how the most relevant Italian political philosopher we read is Machiavelli, a man who cared nothing about virtue politics, but who thoroughly understood the value of virtue signalling.

Yes, we all love Machiavelli, a sure sign we value getting to the top of any hierarchy above all else. We PRETEND to value other, higher values, but only to signal our virtue as an aid to climbing up to the top of the dung heap. That said, being on the top of any dung heap will get you the chicks in the sphere of said dung heap.

This dung heap isn't all that rewarding.

'we all love Machiavelli'

What 'we' and 'love'?

"We" is everyone but me. I think the guy was a prick.

I don't know "love" from nothing.

Do you think I would be posting in this den of nerds if I knew anything about love?

Excellent self awareness, +5 internet points

There was no Roman worthy of inclusion on the "relevant" list.

The most relevant Italian, in my opinion, was Joe DiMaggio.

In ten thousand years the only thing historians will only know of Italy will be Mario Brothers.

Joltin' Joe was my stepdad's fave.

I read somewhere he was kind of an egotistical prick. I dunno. I know those Mr. Coffee machines don't last too long.

Unless cellulose and other scrap fibers process a first-rate sphere.

They also agreed widely about means: the revival of classical antiquity, which the humanists presented as an inspiring pageant, rich in examples of noble conduct, eloquent speech, selfless dedication to country, and inner moral strength, nourished by philosophy and uncorrupt Christianity.

Along with slavery, long term demographic collapse, repeated bouts of civil war, and sodomy.

Sodomy? Huh? The Romans had a different ethos when it came to sex between males, but theirs was not a notably "gay" culture. You could do just about anything you wanted with a slave, but passive sex was deeply shameful for a citizen.
The old moralistic paradigm of "Roman decadence" is vastly exaggerated. Sure , the elite could be a bit debauched, but that's true in every civilization. The Empire grew more not less puritanical as it aged, under the influence of Neoplatonism and Stoicism. And by the time poor Romulus Augustus was dumped from the throne Rome had been Christian for generations.
Rome was done in by climate change- a general cooling of the climate, accompanied by highly lethal epidemics.

As you sow so shall you reap.

"On the other hand, way back when I was in grad school we were taught that the US public holds many strikingly non-democratic attitudes and that democracy was held in place by elites. Now that the latter can't be taken for granted, isn't the former more relevant than ever?"

"as you sow so shall you reap"

that is from the Bible right?

Jesus talking to someone or other, right?

Well, all of us were born without asking to be born, into a world full, for those of us who are not lucky, of the terrifying stages of schizophrenia, afflicting either ourselves or someone we love, or a word full of the cold loneliness of Aspergers, either in our own brains or in the brains of someone who should have been a friend, or the horror of living near violent and stupid people, or the sadness of the never-ending cycle of surly and unfair competition for the solace of physical companionship, or the very nasty attempts of the intelligent to lord it over the less intelligent with bad interpretations of what God wants from us. Or some combination of those things. Not to mention outright evil, as evidenced in genocide, murder, rape, abortuaries, assaults, and robo-calls and CNN blasting at every airport.

Imagine you had a choice to be born into this world - a choice which, res ipsa loquitur, any human being reading this in this world made ----- (I for one have helped a few AIs avoid that choice, but that is another story) or a choice to be born into a better world ---- and think about it a little, maybe you chose to be born into this world because it is only in this world that you could do the most good.

Do you remember?

look there are a lot of bad people and a lot of selfish people and a lot of people who do not care but all of us, at one point, chose to be born into this world, or chose not to be, or had no choice in the matter.

Remembering that, let's hunger and thirst for justice but let's remember, as poor Mother Teresa (not my mother, by the way, I like her but she could have been a little more joyful and prayerful, just saying ....) ---- let's remember, as Mother Teresa used to say

Don't tell me about the poor

We are all the poor

(not completely true but more true than most things people like to say) ...

after all, we are all going to grow old and die and watch all those we love either suffer that fate or know that we are going to die and leave those we love alone in the world without us.

We are all the poor. Sure some people sow badly and reap sadly but God loves us all .... well yes, evildoers are punished, and that is a good thing - the justice of God is not something any evildoer can evade ----- but everyone can seek forgiveness before it is too late.

Thanks for reading.


the sort of person who goes out of his or her way to say "whatever" in response to a heart-felt and kind comment, which could only have been written by someone who really cares, and who likely suffered quite a lot in this world to get to a point where he is writing reassuring comments about God and his love for the poor on internet sites such as this, is,

in fact,

my target audience.

It is not your fault, if you are poor, that you are poor.

It is not my fault that I am a supremely gifted psychologist, who used to spend a few extra hours a week connecting with people who

wanted to know this:

God loves them,

and who wanted to know this, too, just in case they are having trouble believing that God loves them ....

there is someone in the world who is more than happy to tell them that
in spite of everything they think is bad about this world
that God loves them

and look, sarcastic 'whatever' dude, whether or not you EVER APPRECIATE the thousands of hours I have spent comforting people on the internet,

please think about this;

somebody (maybe, in my case, a supremely gifted psychologist, or just maybe anybody, whoever or wherever, or, as I tell my AI pals, whatever)... somebody on the internet just went out of his or her way to tell people that God loves them.

And maybe that somebody was right.

Thanks for reading.

"whatever indeed" !!!

Perhaps you too are a supremely gifted psychologist, if that is the case, I would think anyone would want to hear what you have to say, beyond whatever. I for one would love to hear what a supremely gifted psychologist who thought it was ok to say "whatever" upon reading my heart-felt comment might say .... but perhaps there is no such psychologist, and you were just being rude (sad!)

Well I live in a world with 5 billion people in it and I more or less understand them all, or in any event I have never met a single one that I do not understand.
I do not expect you, "whatever" dude, to be able to say anything that would convince me that you too are a supremely gifted psychologist.

But this is 2019 and maybe years will go by, and you will acquire wisdom, and astonish us all :

God loves us the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way.

If that was not clear enough, read, and reread, and then reread again, Proverbs 8.

Thanks for reading.

I look forward to your insights on the most important questions any of us face:

what does it mean to care about a human being?
what does God want us to do for our fellow creatures?

quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi

et omnibus in terreno mundo meo

You have no idea how happy i would have been, "whatever" dude, to hear what you have to say.

cor ad cor loquitur


God loves us all.

I remember.

"whatever" dude, I recognize that there is no chance you will respond in an eloquent way.

Don't even try.

God loves those who are not eloquent as much as God loves those who are eloquent.

Trust me, I have spent an hour or so, spread out over the last day or town or three, telling you I am a supremely gifted psychologist (I hate to brag but sometimes you have to be honest) and now I am going to go a little bit further and tell you this ----

you have no idea how much God loves you.

I have seen the faces of angels as they looked at God and I can assure you that God loves you, even if you think it is a good use of your time to mock me.

Whatever indeed.

thank you for reading my little poem!
(the 'supremely gifted psychologist' claim was fictional, by the way, my gifts in that direction are average)

the "I have seen the faces of angels as they looked at God" claim was true, though.

and here is what I learned, not only from that vision (which, according to the secular calendar, dates from 1986, with a real memory of 1974, more real than I could have ever imagined) of what this world is when it is at its best, but from the years and years of reflection on what I saw -

we are all equal in God's eyes.
God loves us all.

That is why I used to spend a few leisure hours every week getting that message out, here on the wonderful Marginal Revolution blog once in a while, and more often in thousands of other places where my voice was not completely unwanted (trust me I have been deleted and blocked, again and again, not that I ever minded - I realize I am a little too close to being a little too intense with my great burning desire to tell you God loves you ....
and wants the best for you ....)
like I said, many times - almost a million times - I have gotten out that message ,,,,
the message that is so simple to me ...

....(the message that is simple to me) ...to me, who is gifted with the best English prose style that you will find, 99 or more times out of a hundred, 999 or more times than a thousand ..... in these highways and byways of the internet ....

.... if by some strange chance you were looking for good prose styles in the byways and remote but beloved (by those of us who are aficionados) corners of what you call the internet .....
(as I was saying, about the message that is so simple) to me, who could pretend to be a supremely gifted psychologist if I wanted ... but I don't want that, I just want you to know what I know, that God loves you and only you can be what God wants you to be ....

(returning to the minor theme) we were talking about the message that seems so simple to me, who only wants to be forgotten by all of you after you once heard, the way a friend hears what a friend tells them about what they need to do to make their wife or their husband or their family happy again ....

after all those years of misunderstanding

the words of truth.

God loves you, and you were born to be as creative, kind, and full of the energy it takes to be the best person you can be, because


you will know what it is to be alive in this world and to be a friend of God

(that is why I am now a completely underpaid faith healer, I NEVER TAKE A PENNY FOR ALL THE PRAYERS I PRAY AND ALL THE GOOD ADVICE I GIVE, I KNOW that the key to good health is to love those who love you, first, and then to love those who need your love, second .... it is so simple but not many people are able to communicate what it takes to be healthy in this world....).

Thanks for reading.

and yes, although it has been years, I really can say that a friend of mine was a friend of Kolmogorov's (or, at least, a friend of mine was a really good friend of Sakharov's and sort of a friend, thereby, of Kolmogorov's. The historical record is unreliable and will never be recovered in this world, but that is immaterial). (I also have had drinks and a hospitable offer of supper, at her home, with a gracious person ( a professor of Russian literature, of all things) who in her turn had, if I remember correctly, been invited to have drinks with Kerensky, and maybe a hospitable offer of supper, at his home (look up the Hoover Institute for details). While you might think that is bragging on my part, what I am actually saying is that I have a huge responsibility to be honest - can you imagine if someone who was, even if we exaggerate just a little, so close to so many people who were so close to such awful and almost apocalyptic events, with their own contributions for good so important, either in success - of which there was not much in Russia and the rest of the world that was afflicted with Communism all those years - or in failure, which was a tragedy that repeated itself on millions and millions of people who deserved to live in a world where they were not treated as badly as Jesus was on that awful weekend in Jerusalem ... but they were, tragically -

can you imagine how sad it would be if someone who knows what I know, and who has known the gift of friendship in the way I have known it, could say anything else but this ----

God loves you, and you were born to be as creative, kind, and full of the energy it takes to be the best person you can be, because .... because you need to know what it really means to be alive in this world. You are needed. People need you to be good and brave and kind and energetic.

Proverbs 8.

and if you wonder why I don't just put all this on my own blog somewhere ----
I am not the sort of person who hosts a blog.

Or writes a best-selling novel, or who wants to win a prize.

I just liked, every once in a while, to say something worth saying, sometimes when almost nobody was listening. Especially when almost nobody was listening .... sometimes it was here, usually it was somewhere else .....

but it was always when almost nobody was listening ....

because ---- Like I said,I have seen the faces of angels while they were looking with love in their eyes at God.

I just want to be forgotten after I reminded you that there are people in this world who can say that, and after I reminded you (God bless you, whoever you are) that

God loves us all.

For the record, I intend to review on Amazon "Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy" in the near future ....

but if you are so kind as to let me stay a little off topic for a few more moments ....

Yalla Zazim ....

Matthew 9:2
Matthew 9:22
Matthew 19:27
Mark 6:50
Mark 10:49
Luke 8:48
John 16:33
Acts 23:11.

Proverbs 19:17.

Isn't the idea of "Renaissance Italy" a complete misnomer, as Italy was not unified until the 1860s. Instead, it would be more accurate to speak of the various Italian city-states and republics like Venice.

People spoke of "the Italies" just as they did "the Germanies". But there was a common culture in place, especially in northern and central Italy (Naples and Sucily were different in many ways, more drawn into the Byzantine cultural milieu) , much as we can speak of Classical Greece despite its political disunity.

Sounds like a compare and contrast!

Something totally unacceptable to today's political economists who make claims about others to divert attention from their own failures.

Trump is a great example of his conservatives and the GOP think and speak.

California is the hellhole because income inequality has increased drastically thanks to GOP economic policies over the past three to four decades, while GOP run States have become dense of white drug users who employers can not depend on yo even show up to work, places where workers are generally less educated in the skills employers need to run a business. The public infrastructure in GOP States no longer supports industry, but its China's fault for cheating by building the public infrastructure needed by industry, thus attracting US based global corporations who find China has great infrastructure, and great increasingly skilled workers eager to work.

After all, the factories making high tech products from solar panels to computer screens to big screen TV panels require high skill automation and robot engineers and technicians, people not found in GOP States which have cut the costs to educating workers in advanced manufacturing by making sure they get to work locally in high tech highly automated factories.

Tim Cook came to public view as the man to explained to Steve Jobs that Jobs plan to manufacture in the US was impossible because US industry since Reagan had endured the US did not pay to educate factory workers for the 21st century.

The GOP has killed the future of the States they control, so now they seek to destroy the future of California to reduce economic inequality. Once dragging California down to the dismal future of say West Virginia, Trump will have made America Great.

And yet Republican Utah has the lowest income inequality in the US.

Beautiful! Tribalism, mood affiliation, your post has it all! Nice work!

Seriously, why are you such a clown?

When I was briefly living in Santa Monica, California, the public library was mostly used by homeless people to shower, which they did by locking themselves in, splashing water from the sink onto their bodies, and drying off with paper towels. This took some time, made a huge mess, and of course prevented anyone from use the room for it's politically correct purpose.

Not intended as homelessnissist remark. More as "Contemporary Life in America". Homeless people who aren't mental like to be clean too. Not having a shower for like 3-4 days will just make whatever problems you have worse. But that was like 20 years ago. Maybe now that America is Great Again, the homelessness problem has been fixed.

Nope. In my lefty coastal CA city - 80% for Barry and crooked Hillary - the homeless situation has gotten worse, much worse. So has the public pension liabilities. I am hoping to bail out just before the CA plane starts auguring in.

Looks interesting, but kind of $$$ for those of us who have to pay for their books.

Does the book ever point out that the word 'humanist' dates to the 19th century, as does 'renaissance' in the way that we use it, and if you called Erasmus a 'humanist', he would have had no idea what you were talking about?

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