“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”
Marcus Aurelius was the most famous of the Roman Stoics. He understood that the first requirement in the search for truth was clear, accurate and ordered thinking, underpinned by precision in the use of words.
This discipline was known to the Stoics as logic; it derives from the Greek ‘logos’ (word). Logic meant the art of reason. It still does.
Words have the sole function of representing concepts. Even with a good understanding of the concepts, logic can still only be as good as the substance of the thinking that can be brought to bear on the subject. If the pertinent facts are not known, or if what is known is wrong or misunderstood or incomplete, then logical construction will fail.
The building of logic can only commence once the foundational facts have been examined to ensure that they are solid. In other words, logic has to begin at the beginning and continue at every step of the way to the conclusion.
What passes for logic today is almost always its opposite, confirmation bias; either built upon an erroneous foundation, or lacking reasoned structure. The art (and love) of reason has all but vanished; in its place remain dogma, slogans, wishful thinking and herd-think.
Nowhere is this irrationality better illustrated than in the area of money.
Since money was first monopolized by governments 2,500 years ago, it has been reliably distorted, adulterated and corrupted. At rare, short-lived periods such as now, it has even been abandoned. This, coupled with the inability of people to adhere to logic, means that no area suffers from greater confusion.
All schools of economics, without exception, have preached easily refuted dogma on the origins of money. Once the real origins are understood, then what money is and what it does, can also be more precisely understood. There are ramifications to ignoring reality for too long.
The disintegration of our societies is caused by the absence of circulating money, which runs necessarily parallel with the decay of logic, the abandonment of ideas, and the collapse of literacy. This demise of intellect is what makes the disintegration invisible, or at least unrecognizable, to most.
It is not just that people cannot understand what is happening; most are below the necessary level of awareness to even know that anything is happening. The “observation in life” of Marcus Aurelius is no longer made. People not only cannot construct logic; they cannot follow it.
Almost two thousand years after Marcus Aurelius, we have the shoulders of giants to stand on, but are content to toddle along as intellectual midgets.