Ideas Shape Our Lives

Introduction

If we truly desire the liberty to shape our lives as we see fit, then we need to take stock of the ideas we clam to hold. I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but many see our culture today as living the logical conclusion of The Closing of the American Mind. Not only are people unaware of the core ideas they hold, but they also do not even care or believe that ideas carry weighty consequences for their lives. We all hold ideas about living whether or not we are aware of them. Moreover, aware or not, we act on the ideas we hold.

Last month’s blog linked to an article from the Mises Institute authored by Jeff Diest. I’m going to tap the wellspring of knowledge from that think tank once again, linking readers to an interview that Deist does with Tom Woods on the importance of reading books. Obviously, the interview is not merely about reading, but it’s about challenging people to think about what they read so as to clarify the ideas they have about living out their lives. Consequently, Deist and Woods discuss deep reading as opposed to mere pleasure reading. The links below take readers to the Podcast interview and a couple of short bios for Jeff Deist and Tom Woods.

The Case for Reading Books: Jeff Deist & Tom Woods (Mises Institute)

If individuals desire to clarify their ideas, then thought-provoking reading is a must. Deist and Woods make the case for what they call heavy lifting in reading. Below are links to the podcast discussion with Deist and Woods, followed by links that provide short bios for the two discussants.

Podcast Jeff Deis-Tom Woods Interview

Jeff Deist Bio

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Bio

Conclusion

There are several key takeaways from this podcast. First, mindless reactionary activism will not form a pathway to reclaiming individual liberty for our society. Neither will simply showing up for national elections on election day. Second, if we want to reestablish individual liberty as a core value for our existence, then we need to think about and clarify the ideas we claim to hold. Such clarification can take shape through what Deist and Woods discuss as heavy lifting reading. Hence they make the case for reading books that will shape how we engage life, particularly for those of us who claim to value individual liberty.The ideas we clarify for ourselves become the foundation for actions we take rather than thoughtlessly reacting to events around us. Individual liberty must stand on solid ideas.

John V. Jones, Jr., Ph.D., LPC-S/February 14th, 2021

ANALYSIS OF POWER [AOP]

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