Libertarians Are Not Really Free

Seneca, Moral Epistle 55.4-6

“But, my Lucilius, philosophy is something sacred and venerable to the extent that even its poor imitation brings pleasure. Most people really believe that someone who has isolated themselves is at leisure, safe and happy and living for themselves–those very rights that belong to no one but the wise. Does someone wracked by worry know how to live for themselves? This comes first: do they even know how to live?

The one who escapes human affairs–who has been put there by the error of their own desires, who cannot bear to witness greater fortune in others, who has hidden away out of fear like some frightened and slow animal, well that person lives not for themselves but for their belly, sleep, lust, the most shameful thing of all. Someone who lives for no one does not live for themselves. Yet, consistency and perseverance appear to be such weighty qualities that slowness–if cultivated as a habit, is treated as a virtue.”

Sed adeo, mi Lucili, philosophia sacrum quiddam est et venerabile, ut etiam, si quid illi simile est, mendacio placeat. Otiosum enim hominem seductum existimat vulgus et securum et se contentum, sibi viventem, quorum nihil ulli contingere nisi sapienti potest. Ille sollicitus scit sibi vivere? Ille enim, quod est primum, scit vivere?

Nam qui res et homines fugit, quem cupiditatum suarum infelicitas relegavit, qui alios feliciores videre non potuit, qui velut timidum atque iners animal metu oblituit, ille sibi non vivit, sed, quod est turpissimum, ventri, somno, libidini. Non continuo sibi vivit, qui nemini. Adeo tamen magna res est constantia et in proposito suo perseverantia, ut habeat auctoritatem inertia quoque pertinax.

Drake meme: unhappy Drake, vivere ventri ("live for stomach"); happy drake, sibi vivere (Live for yourself")


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