The Theory of Ruin Value

Dogpatch USA: an abandoned amusement park in Arkansas I once visited during childhood. First I was trying to figure out how to use the weather channel website–I check the weather less than once a year because it’s pretty much the one thing over which I feel I don’t have supernatural power. And while I stillContinue reading “The Theory of Ruin Value”

Will Durant: Political Elements of Civilization: “Law”

Routine: “It is routine that keeps men sane; for if there were no grooves along which thought and action might move with unconscious ease, the mind would be perpetually hesitant, and would soon take refuge in lunacy. A law of economy works in instinct and habit, in custom and convention: the most convenient mode of responseContinue reading “Will Durant: Political Elements of Civilization: “Law””

Will Durant: “The Political Elements of Civilization” (1935)

The State ‘This violent subjection is usually of a settled agricultural group by a tribe of hunters and herders. For agriculture teaches men pacific ways, inures them to a prosaic routine, and exhausts them with a long day’s toil; such men accumulate wealth, but they forget the arts and sentiments of war. The hunter andContinue reading “Will Durant: “The Political Elements of Civilization” (1935)”

Will Durant: “The Origins of Government” (1935)

‘Instead of democracy being a wilted feather in the cap of our own age, it appears at its best in several primitive groups where such government as exists is merely the rule of the family-heads of the clan, and no arbitrary authority is allowed. The Iroquois and Deleware Indians recognized no laws or restraints beyondContinue reading “Will Durant: “The Origins of Government” (1935)”

Will Durant: “The Economic Elements of Civilization” (1935)

‘It is impossible to be scientific here; for in calling other human beings “savage” or “barbarous” we may be expressing no objective fact, but only our fierce fondness for ourselves, and our timid shyness in the presence of alien ways. Doubtless we underestimate these simple peoples, who have so much to teach us in hospitalityContinue reading “Will Durant: “The Economic Elements of Civilization” (1935)”

Will Durant – “The Conditions of Civilization”

Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Some seven years ago I began to see something I’d missed before, a connection in all things. The romantic era poets led me to this place, where all teachers before them had failed. The public school curricula had always encouraged teachers to connect one field of study toContinue reading “Will Durant – “The Conditions of Civilization””


Note: I don’t know anything about Communism, Socialism, China, or Russia. Seriously. Certainly I fell in love at once with the poetry of Li Po and of Tu Fu, but aside from that very little has struck me in Chinese history as memorable, just the endless succession of names and dynasties, it struck me quiteContinue reading “China”

Jeanne d’Arc, part 1.

I’ve always been highly conscious of lingering energy, though part of it may be my imagination, I’ve been to where Martin Luther King was shot, and it made me shiver a little, even at age 8, not because of what had occurred there, but because I knew without a doubt that he had been thereContinue reading “Jeanne d’Arc, part 1.”