Tag: Albert Nock

How Not to Sacrifice if You’re a Father

Hint: Don’t be Rousseau

unrecognizable man with child on hilltop

I’ve been reading some Nock. Albert Jay Nock, one of the premier American essayists of the early twentieth century and one of the founders of modern conservative/libertarian thought.

A weighty man, that Nock.

But also a disturbing man. In a 1964 biography, Robert M. Crunden said Nock was greatly fond of the ladies. Nock was also greatly fond of being absent from his wife. He apparently deserted her after she bore him two children.

Let me qualify this: I don’t know any details about the abandonment. Nock was an extremely private man who took secrecy to new levels. He would, for instance, occasionally bundle up his outgoing mail and ship it from another state, so people wouldn’t know where he was living. Was the abandonment wholesale or more like a divorce with child visitation rights? Nobody seems to know. We know he left his job as an Episcopal minister and family, but we also know his sons knew their father well enough to assist later biographers.

But what I’ve always found fascinating about Nock is this: Only after leaving his wife, children, and conventional job did he climb up the ladder as an intellectual man of letters, joining the staff of the popular magazine, American Magazine, at age 39.

It kind of reminds me of Jean Rousseau, who orphaned five children so he could continue as Europe’s leading man of … Read the rest

The Weekly Eudemon

A round-up of good reading from the week

Looking to live slow? You like Stoic wisdom? Think the vaccine is working? Those are a few of the topics touched on this week. (Excerpts to follow in the Traditional TDE Blog over the next couple of days. “M” denotes “Medium.com” and, therefore, you may need a subscription to read.)

I have signed up for this: The Live Slow Challenge. For a few years, I’ve been preaching the importance of slow living, with no autobiographical empirical evidence whatsoever. I, in other words, have been a hypocrite, albeit unintentionally. We’ll see if this challenge gets me into the non-groove.

The may who has made Stoicism into a cottage industry, Ryan Holiday, offers 100 Very Short Rules for a Better Life. I don’t think Ryan is even 35 years old yet, so I question his level of wisdom, but I feel like I know less and less every day, so maybe wisdom declines with the years. Okay, I don’t really believe that, but regardless, Christ was only 33 when he died, and he had some pretty good things to say (I know: he had an advantage). Ryan also relies heavily on a thorough reading regimen. Acquaintance with great minds is a great substitute for gained wisdom. (M)

Ryan Holiday also suggests three books to help you understand what’s going on right now. Disclosure: I haven’t read … Read the rest

“Dorothy Parker was a Brilliant Slut” and Other Sundries to Fascinate Your Friends at the Bar

The godfather of modern libertarianism, Albert Nock, was in his prime during Prohibition. Needless to say, he railed against it, noting once that it’s absurd to regulate something that, in nature, flows as freely as water.

He’s right, of course. And the fact that it flows as freely as water has made it a form of recreation and escape for nearly 10,000 years. (Okay, we don’t know for sure why the Chinese in the Yellow River Valley (where 9,000-year-old pottery (with alcohol residue) was found) were drinking alcohol, but they weren’t Neanderthals, so presumably, there was a large measure of recreation involved.)

It’s no surprise that there’s a ton of interesting and fun alcohol trivia.

I’m working on a definitive list of such, but for now, I offer this handful:

1.            Go Extreme

Are you tired of the beer snobs? I know I am. I realize I probably have an unsophisticated palate, but when I read beer aficionados talk about “hints” of malt from the Euphrates Valley, I roll my eyes.

But if you want to try to understand a little of what they’re talking about, you should taste and contrast beers from the two extremes: double boch (extreme malt) and bitter ales (very hoppy).

2.            Government Created the Great London Gin Craze

The Great London Gin Craze was a pretty scary things: kids getting soused, women selling themselves for a gin and … Read the rest