Strategic Chokepoints in Life: or Marcus Aurelius’ Error

If Marcus Aurelius’ only accomplishment in life were to choose a capable heir, it would have outweighed the almost 20 years he spent administering a massive Roman empire.
Rome never recovered from his choice of Commodus as his heir.  He wrote philosophy and went on campaigns but his legacy truly hinged on one thing: the succession.  In neglecting the succession all his virtues were in vain.  He could have spent 20 years lying around smoking pot and come out ahead if only he had chosen the right heir.  This is Marcus Aurelius’ error.
There are chokepoints in life.  All the stuff that happens in between is just filler while just a few things decide everything—whether we are successes or failures for all time.
I notice in most people I meet in America an utter disregard for the greater game of life.  They mindlessly attend parties and have legions of facebook friends but not one person they could call upon in a time of dire need.  Nor do they have a plan for family or progeny.  They just serve out their days like assembly line robots.  Yet the robots serve a pure purpose for which they were made.  The torment of modern Americans is the torment of constant busyness without purpose.
They grind away obediently at relentless jobs never seeming to care about the things that will actually matter.  On their death beds they invariably realize that maybe a fraction of 1% of their time alive went into anything meaningful.
Like Marcus Aurelius they were seduced away from the meaningful life by colorful distractions.

If we distance ourselves for a moment from the noise of our lives, we will see that only a few things will ever really matter.  If we can just get those few things right, the rest takes care of itself.

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

5 replies on “Strategic Chokepoints in Life: or Marcus Aurelius’ Error”

I agree with what you said but maybe Commodus got a raw deal. Why do I think this? In Wikipedia the quote,”…One of the ways he paid for his donatives and mass entertainments was to tax the senatorial order, and on many inscriptions, the traditional order of the two nominal powers of the state, the Senate and People (Senatus Populusque Romanus) is provocatively reversed (Populus Senatusque…)…”

Maybe the Senate and the rapacious Oligarchs killed him and then proceeded to destroy Rome. Making sure to drag his name through the mud on the way.
The rapacious with greed Oligarchs in the US combined with the psychopathic Jews (I mean this in a clinical sense I’m not just calling them names) are surely driving the US straight into a ditch.

Even thought they seem to be winning all of us should take heart. The Jews have been kicked out of every single country they’ve been to in any numbers. The US is not Russia and any attempt to take it over like Russia would entail a huge mass of lead heading their direction as we’re the most heavily armed people on the planet. Their brainwashing of us is wearing thin. Every time some Jew spews some more nonsense about White people I see scores of bloggers pointing out their lies. In the riots in Baltimore it said the baseball fans taunted the Blacks with “We Don’t Care”. People are getting fed up and these thing turn around immediately in a flash. One day your a anti-semite the next your standing up for White rights. No one knows when this will happen but the present situation will not last forever. In Germany the Germans were even more controlled than the US is today. Their society was completely in ruins and couple hundred guys in a beer hall threw the whole lot of them out of power.

That would be a cool theory if there was any evidence for it. It was pretty ordinary in the ancient world to slander and destroy all memory of political rivals. The record on Commodus seems pretty overwhelming, though, and some of the things he did like renaming Rome “Colony of Commodus” and spending his time with gladiators seem like things you can’t make up.
Not to mention, we can see the results of his rule in the historical record. Rome never was the same after a decade of Commodus. He ended a long series of “good emperors” and marked the beginning of a long, painful decline.

Rome was always ruled by oligarchs, even an emperor had to be on civil terms with them. Commodus’ mismanagement did nothing to change that.

The Jews, I notice, are disproportionately represented in every field that requires intellect. They’re seen often in the marketplace of ideas.
You’ll see lots of Jewish feminists. However, they’re also over-represented amongst those who oppose feminism.
I like Jews because they’re smart. I’ve routinely found I can have conversations with them I can’t have with most people I meet.
They’re too smart for their own good. They inevitably rise to become a wealthy ruling class wherever they go, breeding resentment among the locals. The cream rises to the top.

I actually use the Jews as a test case when people argue that blacks and other groups that are poor on average are ‘oppressed.’ Jews have been through lots of oppression and had to start from nothing in place after place and the results are always the same. Some peoples are simply better at preserving wealth than others.

Yes, that’s also me. You may observe I link to that blog on my blogroll. I wrote that blog years ago in my mid 20s but found there was no audience for it. I realized I’d have to bring people to my point of view gradually.
It’s an issue I also discussed on my Kingdom of Introversion blog. (yes I’ve had multiple blogs)

I see nihilistic thinking as a trap all aware, thinking people must face and conquer.

A basic principle by which I live is that reason and its offshoots such as philosophy and science are tools meant to further our survival and increase our joy in living.
A philosophy that encourages despair is a failure by definition because it is self-destructive to believe in it.
Likewise, a science that tells us that we cannot make decisions destroys us.
Belief in free will on the other hand causes people and societies to thrive.

The enlightenment world view self destructs because it worships an ideal of absolute empirical truth for its own sake. Therefore its adherents believe it’s rational to destroy ourselves if it means being truthful.
I see this as a compiler error that results from the strict enlightenment idea of pretending anything not measurable in a lab doesn’t exist.

We were gifted with reason by nature because it helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. Therefore destructive ideas are little more than malware, and in the most meaningful sense they are objectively false, however internally consistent they may be.
In any way that matters in the real world, a Mormon is more rational than Dawkinsian strong atheist. Joseph Smith obviously made everything up, but the system he made is a net benefit to its followers.

One question matters: “Does it work?”

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