The Shaping of a Mind

Later this week I will be introducing a podcast companion for this blog. It will be my first attempt at such. As I will need to ease my way into it I plan to start with a simple straight forward subject. I will be devoting the first handful of episodes to speaking about my greatest intellectual influences. I haven’t yet determined what order I will address them in. I will however plan on posting an accompanying article with each one for those guests who prefer to read posts.

These influences will not just be philosophers and thinkers. Among these people will also be featured entrepreneurs, military commanders, politicians, authors, and many many more. So with that said I would like to introduce very briefly and in no set order the top ten who will be addressed.

1. Martin Luther: The man who began the reformation movement of the Catholic church. His impact on theology has helped shaped the world in ways I don’t think many people appreciate. The reformation also changed the course of European history politically, helping form the world we know today.

2. William F Buckley Jr: The founder and long time editor of the National Review magazine shaped modern American conservatism. He was also the host of the television debate show Firing Line. I’ve long admired his rhetorical skill and firmness of his beliefs. I am still a subscriber of National Review to this day.

3. Cicero: He was a great Roman statesmen. One of the last “republicans” of the Roman Empire. He was a prolific writer and skilled lawyer. He was known for taking on and being willing to oppose the early tyrants and dictators of Rome.

4. Marcus Aurelius: The Roman emperor and thinker was one of the great stoics of all time. His focus on wisdom and an almost zen style of inner calmness and control of one’s inner self still holds lessons for us all today.

5. Saul/Paul: One of the earliest and most prolific missionaries of the christian church, he preached all through out the Roman empire after his miraculous conversion.

6. Robert Heinlein: The famous science fiction writer and retired naval officer should be considered a leading voice of Libertarianism but rarely is. His books and philosophies especially in works like “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and “Starship Troopers” did quite a bit to show me the many different ways that societies could be ordered to encourage freedom and liberty without shirking a citizen’s duties.

7. F. A. Hayek: The Road to Serfdom and his critique of central planning economies, what more needs to be said?

8. George Washington: The first president of the United States was a courageous and inspiring leader. He gets bonus points for knowing when it was time to cede power and return to the farm.

9. Calvin Coolidge: Our most under rated president was a prolific cutter of federal spending and taxes both. I think quite a bit of the prosperity of the roaring twenties can be attributed to his actively hands off policies.

10. Elon Musk: One of the greatest capitalists of the modern era, he has founded and funded some of the fastest growing companies in the world. In addition to this his humanism and dedication to helping us survive as a species will be invaluable as the issues trumpeted by futurists continue to fly toward us.

Please stay tuned and enjoy as these are released over the coming days and weeks.

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