Grind it Out and Lay the Foundation


The philosopher/author/artist–all-round brilliant fellow–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that:

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.”

–And so it is: Young men are squires.

Until they pass The Gauntlet, they’re not worth shit.

But to do this, resilience is required.

How many have this resilience?

Plato said that:

Youth is the time for any extraordinary toil.

In his ideal state, he wanted to regulate the youth of men–to protect them from becoming weak and corrupted by harmful influences.

If such regulations were considered important already back in Ancient Greece, then what about today?

Study the success of Lee Kuan Yew: He turned what would otherwise have been a shithole country into the fastest progressing country in the world.

What a hero!

The world needs people like Lee Kuan Yew–to protect it from the stupidity of the average person.

There are many negative influences in society today. . .

How many people are able to maintain a pristine mind; free from influence?1

We should follow Plato’s advice

Because 90% of the men we’re turning out in modern society are reactive weaklings; decadent fools who spend their time watching soccer.

Instead of stepping into the arena to compete, they’re “happy” to simply sit and watch–with a beer in one hand and a fist full of popcorn in the other.

They are. . .

. . . Unable to commit definitively to a course of action.

. . . Unable to muster up the internal motivation to generate momentum.

. . . Unable to control their bodily urges for any longer period of time.

Just the other day when I took the bus to a meeting, some guys my age sat down behind me. They talked non-stop for 15 minutes about some soccer B.S.

They were like little girls gossiping about American Idol.

I didn’t understand exactly what they were saying–(because I’ve never mastered the soccer lingo)–but I understood the implications:

  1. They just wasted 15 minutes on a task with no ROI, which is fine because:
  2. If you have no serious goals or ambitions, there is no opportunity cost.
  3. It makes them “happy” to pretend they belong to a soccer team.

You know what they are?

They’re a bunch of confused consumers who aren’t producing anything.

What would the Spartans do if they strolled around in our society for a week?

Here’s what I think:

(Yes, those are avocados you see in the background. Eat them!)

Do You Want to Be an Amateur?

Ted Turner said that if it weren’t for the fact that he knew so much, he could go through life as a dilettante.

And so it is–it is SO EASY to go through life as a dilettante. That’s what most people do, right?

But I can’t do that.

I would rather kill myself.

A good friend of mine wrote me an “angry rant” on this topic.

Here’s an excerpt:

angry excerpt


I wonder why most people do things so amateurish. I’ve always had the attitude that if I’m going to do something I will DO it. . . . [It is] Meaningless B.S. What amateurs. I can’t find a better word. And then, surprisingly enough, they often really BELIEVE that their results are impressive. . . . ”


They’re doomed to be eternal amateurs because they don’t read and they don’t know how to think properly.

They’re “happy” to let society do their thinking for them. 2

But if you let yourself be guided by public opinion, it means that. . .

. . . you’re never going to be anything but a mediocre maggot.

If you sit around reading gossip magazines, watching the news, trolling on forums, browsing social media for entertainment–you will become an AMATEUR.

You have to control your inputs for information.

You can’t create yourself using other people’s building blocks.

Especially not when those building blocks are made for the mentally handicapped.

You have to construct your own philosophical framework; your own way of seeing the world.

You can’t just view things through someone else’s lens, you can’t rely on others to do your thinking for you, least of all mainstream media.

Do that, and you’ll become a fake.

Do your own thinking–or you’re squandering your neocortex!

If you don’t make full use of it, you’re no better than an ape.

You’ll become one of those people Einstein despised so much: the sort for whom a spinal cord would’ve sufficed.

You can either frolic with the rest of the animals, or you can TRANSCEND that, and pave your own way.

Like a pioneer.

This path gets paved by self-reflection and deep, critical, creative thinking.

Like Ray Dalio, visualizing the workings of his machine.

Like Cesare Borgia, making plans for every contingency.

Like Hannibal, planning the logistics for the alps.

Guess What the Average Person Cares About?

These two things:

  1. He wants a life of comfort and ease, with sunshine and breeze.
  2. But he also wants to be “successful”.


To resolve this seemingly impossible dichotomy, popular culture–which is nothing but the collective brain of average people–has invented a term called work-life balance.

Work-life balance? 3

If you want to be a pioneer you have to sacrifice, like Einstein did.

He knew he was a genius, so he streamlined his life for creative thinking.

He knew what he wanted and prioritized accordingly.

That’s what youth is for: To grind it out and lay the foundation.


If you don’t lay the foundation you can say goodbye to your kingdom. 4

It will all come crashing down like a house of cards.

If you waste your youth, it’s your own fault.

Use age 30 as a benchmark.

Until then, don’t let up.

Is 30 a Magic Number?

No it’s not. It’s just a benchmark.

If you can’t understand this, please stop reading my stuff. 5

Don’t be this guy:

you are screwed

Does it mean you’re screwed?

–Not really, but. . .6

If you don’t think you have what it takes to be a winner, you should probably settle for second prize.

You want consolation? Join a church

You want unconditional love? Get a dog.

You want validation? Earn it.

Coffee is for closers only!

Modern life is pretty comfortable anyway. You can hang out with those soccer-talkers who sat behind me on the bus. All you have to do is dumb yourself down to their level. What could be easier?

And if this makes you feel like a failure, you can always watch Entourage or Game of Thrones and pretend you’re a movie star or a warrior.

After doing this, do you still deserve to be successful?

No, you don’t, because you didn’t stack the advantages in your favor.

Competition is a sin and differentiation a virtue.

Modern culture interferes with differentiation–it is a digital village geared towards conformity and political correctness. Avoid it.

Grind it out in solitude if you have to.

But Don’t Tell Anyone!

Because they won’t listen to any of it.

They are too psychologically invested in their foolish actions.

So your advice will fall on deaf ears, like Noah when he told the others:

“Hey guys, I think we should build an ark. You know, the future isn’t looking so bright and I think that. . .”

The others: “Shut up Noah, we’re trying to have a party! “

The others couldn’t deal with reality. They just wanted comfort and convenience. They did not want to change. They did not want to think. And they certainly did not want to prepare for the future.

The others just wanted to believe in some comforting lie which would save them from thinking about all the bad stuff that could happen.

Leave the sheep to their frolicking.

They just want to dwell in homeostasis.

But don’t take it personally.

Don’t wish for things to be different–just grind it out and lay the foundation.

Don’t waste your time: Not on fools; not on folly, not on soccer discussions.

Save yourself. That’s what Noah did.

They’ll come crying to you when you’ve got an ark and they don’t.

  1. The self-development process (or whatever you want to call it) for most people starts with the systematic elimination of:

    a) False notions about how the world works.

    and. . .

    b) Social conditioning.

    After that is done you can see the world through your own eyes, attain autonomy of mind, and eventually go on to have an impact.

    Within 10-20 years, there will be a major industry for companies that sell products or programmes based on this premise; to help people where society screwed them over.


  2. Leaving them more time to frolic.

  3. It doesn’t exist. But two categories of people believe in it (and most people belong to one of these two categories):

    1. Dumb people.
    2. Those who can’t choose, and then rationalize their inability to make a choice.

    You have to choose.


  4. The wise rulers of medieval times kept fortresses with 1 year’s worth of supplies in reserves at all times. It took considerable time and discipline to accumulate (they had to GRIND IT OUT), but once they had laid down this foundation they:

    1) Scared off most enemy armies from attacking.

    2) Became nearly unbeatable during sieges.

    3) Could afford the “luxury” to be picky with what sort of people they let into their city; they could deny access to social leeches, looters, moochers, and gypsies, and instead create a prosperous environment for industrious people.

    If there had not been wise rulers who did this, there would be no culture to speak of. No renaissance, no enlightenment, just robbing and stealing and killing.


  5. Seriously. . . are you fucking kidding me!?

  6. If you have nothing better to do than trying to troll some guy on the Internet for saying something that contrasts with your belief system. . .

    . . .then YES, you’re probably screwed.

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  1. I think this article is grossly undervalued. It’s probably one of the best i’ve ever read. A little harsh, but truthful.
    Every 2 months I give it a read. Not for amusment, but as an absolute necessity.
    Nobody will want you to succeed. Don’t waste time trying to convince others. Work in silence, and stay humble. Learn what influences are truly valuable and cut everything that’s not.

    This blog has helped me get two research projects in my first year of University plus being able to do a lecture being in second year (19 years old). Something nobody believed I could do.

    It has helped me gain more than 20 pounds on pure muscle (another thing nobody believed I could do).

    I’m going to start an online business while studying, and guess what… Nobody believes I can do it.

    Don’t watse time in fools. Read blogs like this and iluminate your path.

  2. Wow, really in-depth article here. Great job! This article reminds me of a recent video I just watched about creating a foundation. I’ll link it at the end, but let me know what you think of it. I think you’ll really like it. I like when you say, “Just the other day when I took the bus to a meeting, some guys my age sat down behind me. They talked non-stop for 15 minutes about some soccer B.S.” I can’t stand that either man. I’d rather talk about in-depth topics rather than waste my energy talking about some game. Keep up the great work!

  3. While the idea of grinding it out as a way of life appeals to my hard-core, highly- motivated personality, I have noticed over the years that a number of elite performers do not necessarily possess such an approach. They avoid the sort of “tension” I see with your strategy, in that rather than working 14 hours a day, they work fewer, higher-quality hours in a flow-state being effective rather than making themselves feel productive. Pavel Tsatsouline and Josh Waitzkin refer to it as the ON/OFF switch, observing that how strongly many elites can turn it ON is closely linked to how well they can turn it OFF to relax – one anecdote talks about a world-record weightlifter sleeping until 5 minutes before his lifts, pumping himself up, and banging out record lifts. Something to consider.

  4. Yo Ludvig!

    I like this post, it’s one of my favorites so far on your site.

    This quote is genius:

    “Competition is a sin and differentiation a virtue.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. I think competition is a waste of time to worry about unless you’re picking what works and applying it in your own way. For instance, Sam Walton spent more time in his competitors’ stores than he did his own, and look how that turned out :) But like Grant Cardone says “competition is for sissies” Domination is what you look for. Being in your own class.

    Also a note on the point of not telling anyone plans. . . I believe another reason not to talk about your goals is your mind becomes convinced they’re achieved. Check Derek Sivers’ talk on this:

    But there’s an route-around I’ve found with this, and when you talk goals with a very elite group of people you’ve chosen, your energy is multiplied and you get all types of new ways to build on them. When you talk with average people or so-so achievers, then the energy feels like it was just dispersed and wasted.

    That’s my take!

    – Evan Teague

  5. The average American watches 3 hours of TV a day. Over their life time, that’s 9 years sitting in front of the TV.

    Confirmed for never making it.

    Personally, I quit watching TV 10 years ago and started reading. I read about 30 books a year (by reading a meager 25 minutes a day)

    Anyways, keep up the good work. First time posting, long time reader.

  6. SGM X 1000

    That’s a lot :)

    I liked your input on the knowledge gap (starting point (0) vs. latest news in industry) becoming bigger each generation. It means each consecutive generation is going to have to learn more “required/basic” knowledge in their industry in order to produce some really valuable work on top of that. (this probably wasn’t in this article, but I’m browsing and taking some notes)

    I’m looking to change industries next year (age 21) based on recently acquired knowledge of my strengths. From Health, Pharmaceuticals & Biotech to Computer & Electronics. It’s best to only pick one and stick to it (or change very young)

    What industry are you in? (I suspect Business Services? .

    Thanks for replying to my mail on meditation btw!


  7. You are a great man Ludvig i believe if you were born in another age you would have a forged a great empire. I too want to forge my name in the history books and I will not let age be a barrier..i will most likely die while trying..I of course have a dilemma,I am an only male in my family and have no child although in my mid -20s. I do not wish to commit to a weak relationship and have to admit I am no Lothario.In my total pursuit of greatness I wish to fully commit to my goals” impossible” as they may seem leaving no time to pursue a worthy mate..Of course as I achieve my goals ,which are lofty and taxing,possibly detrimental to my body the highest calibre of women will avail themselves but the inevitability of death looms and if I am to come to an unlikely end I shall have no heir and our name my father and I will be lost to the world..I know you cant provide a definitive answer but will most enjoy your outlook on the matter..To greatness and beyond

  8. Thanks very much for this gift. It’s a great post, written truthfully, sincerely and lovingly, with eyes on readers’ ultimate success in life. This post is not only for youths, it’s for everybody, regardless of the age. Have you wasted the first 50 years of your life partying? you could use few months to build Naoh’s ark and set sail to your El Dorado, it’s never too late for anyone who is prepared and determined to succeed.

  9. Peregrine John says

    Looking forward to the new book. Your take on things is quite similar to my own, though you found your way to it much earlier in life than I did. I’m well above the age of 30 and can vouch that the boundless mental energy for absolutely everything isn’t the same any more. On the other hand, my ability to focus on one thing and stick to it in the face of pretty much any nonsense or challenge is far greater now. There are trade-offs. (I’m told Col. Sanders started selling chicken at the age of 75. Worth keeping in mind.) But remember this, everyone: homeostasis is real, and lethal to your dreams.

    For those wanting to have a look at Plato without jumping quite into the deep end, I recommend his Dialogues. The speaker is always Socrates, but that’s the way of it, especially early in Plato’s career. It’s an odd thing to find one’s self disagreeing with the ancient luminaries of thought, though it should be expected. We have a different perspective now, and they were finding their way through uncharted territory.

    The advice on not telling anyone what you’re up to, in your quest to improve and build, is sound. These days I am very cagey about even having projects, and tell very few people I know in person about them. It was a hard-won lesson.

    • Great comment.

      I would feature it if my “feature comment” plugin still worked ;)

      • Peregrine John says

        Heh, heh. I know that feeling…

        In any case, thanks! As I barrel toward my own blog (where I’ll record my personal growth and progress, present my recently defined and refined philosophy, and perhaps help others find their way as well), your observations and point of view come to mind frequently – enough so that I’ll take care not to word things too similarly on certain subjects!

      • Peregrine John says

        Aside: Sorry about the repetition regarding Col. Sanders, the outlier. Whether it was at age 65 or 75, you mentioned it in the excerpt printed recently. Like I said, the thought patterns, they run similarly and sometimes echo.

  10. Yet another great article, Ludvig.

    Should be a must-read for anyone wanting to succeed in life.

    When you release your upcoming book, I will be one of the first to buy it.


  11. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”

    I can hate the game and still hate the player. No one is forced to play.

    “Grind it out in solitude if you have to.”

    Better to do so anyway. He who cannot endure solitude can never think for himself.

    “Competition is a sin…”

    Not sure what your intent is with that statement.

    “Within 10-20 years, there will be a major industry for companies that sell products or programmes based on this premise”

    The “self improvement” industry has been booming, in varying forms, ever since the industrial revolution – and before then, as an adjunct of religion. Hell, Socrates made a living at it (for a while). What changes are ideas of what constitutes “improvement” and how best to bring that about.

    • You’re right Abgrund.

      As for competition being a sin — it’s a saying in business. It basically means you want avoid competition. You want to be in your own league as an individual and in your own niche as a business.

      • Business certainly do abhor competition, but normally they avoid it by collusion, not by opening new niches. If a businessman says, “Competition is a sin,” I assume what is meant is, “Don’t try to enter my market and compete with me and/or our cartel, or we’ll find a way to punish you.”

        Anyway, I take it your intent was concerned with business only? I would have expected you would encourage competition in other fields, like say sports or academia. You are, after all, competing with others for the attention of a certain Internet audience. And doing so successfully, it seems.

    • Hello there Abgrund. I wrote you a question in the article about LKY. But there are so many comments in it that it’s easy to get lost.

      My question, which was a response to what you had written, was this: >>Why/how do you think politicians can create jobs?<<

      Please note: I have a slight free market / libertarian stance, so I'm a little biased against the idea of politicians creating jobs.

    • “He who cannot endure solitude can never think for himself.”

      Why do you think so? I think it’s possible to be very sociable (some people feel the need to socialize more than others) yet still be a free thinker.

  12. Great advice on being prepared Ludvig!

    I am experiencing exactly that right now as oil prices have slashed themselves in half and many guys I know are out of work. I’m fully prepared and good for a couple of years, while others are freaking out and wondering how to pay the bills.

    As if the oil boom would last forever. As if they needed that pimped out 80k pickup truck. As if the Jack Daniels would keep flowing freely forever.

    A good maxim on this is “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

    Glad to see you back and I look forward to the book.

  13. Mike Richards says

    Ludvig – Another great article. My favorite quote by far is “What would Spartans do if they strolled around in our society for a week? First they would laugh at us, then they would conquer us.”

    I just finished the book “Gates of Fire” which is all about the Spartans. While it is fiction, it’s very motivating and helps you reframe in your mind what hardship truly is. Like you said, we have it incredibly easy today.

    I’m looking forward to your book!

    • I don’t actually think the Spartans could conquer us, technology aside etc.

      Heroes may win battles but can’t win wars. When it came to governance and culture, Athens won out. Just like America vs Vietnam. If you want to die the Hero’s death, follow Leonidas or Lysander. If you want to conquer a people, start from within. Look up how Hitler eventually won hearts and minds…. AFTER he went to jail. Sun Tzu says it all when saying (paraphrased) “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

      • Movie fantasies aside, the Spartans were losers. They neither built any empire nor contributed to the common defense of Greece (Thermopylae was a rare exception). They also contributed nothing to the knowledge and culture of their world – no philosophy, no plays, no explorations, no inventions.

        Sparta’s grotesque militarism stemmed from the fact that 80% of the population were brutally enslaved, leaving the minority in perpetual fear of a revolt. The Spartans were not heroes, conquering or otherwise; they were more like the guards of a concentration camp.

    • Thanks Mike!

  14. My attitude is basically the same — work hard and let success do the talking (or whatever the saying is). People don’t understand what I do anyway.

    • What do you do for a living then? :P

      If people don’t understand/can’t figure out what you do, then it is either a great advantage or it is you who need to become better at explaining. Maybe both.

  15. A kick in the ass I needed. I’m working on my discipline and need to have an attitude like this but I don’t have as clear goals as you do. I need to first figure out “the why” and brainwash myself on it. Using some of your tips from your momentum machine article and 75 practical tips for this with good results.

    Keep posting man, I always appreciate your stuff.

  16. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote this in the prince and I think it is a good related point to what you write in this article:

    “There is such a gap between how people actually live and they ought to live…. If you want to always play the good man in a world where most people are not good, you’ll end up badly.”

  17. Hiya…
    long-time fan/reader/lurker here :)

    Just signed up for info on your book. Interesting premise you got there and I think it has the potential for a really cool book. Looking forward to hear more

  18. Noah should have taken his ark and headed for Galt’s Gulch. Lol.

  19. Another great post Ludvig. Many people are afraid or unwilling to go back to the basics and start afresh character and habit-wise when they realise their foundation is poorly laid. Homoeostasis at its finest

    Speaking of the Universe most don’t grasp the fact that if you are willing to consistently act in a positive manner you’ll get what you give from the universe.

    Its a shame allot of people don’t know the power of their smart phones if used correctly. Its sad seeing so many fail to leverage this widespread and effective resource for unlimited development.

    I’m not perfect or where I want to be yet, however once I discovered places like these I’m selective of who I associate with. Even those who you feel think like you can deceive you at times.

    And yes, I agree with you, in a few years time the Self-help industry will really take-off at the rate were going.

  20. Oh, and a quick note for fun: an “amateur” literally does things for love and joy, while professionals do it (anything) for money. Yes butt stuff too. NPR/TED radio hour recently ran a podcast on how and why amateurs do it better, such as nuclear physics, AI programming etc., mainly because they are free of preconceived notions.

  21. Pewdiepie = biggest youtube channel? Shit. I’m happy I don’t spend much time on Youtube then.

    What will happen to the next generation? Hahaha. It will probably be the attention economy we have now times 10.

    The real interesting thing to think about as far as “the future generation” and their shortening attention span is that they’ll probably be gullible as hell. You already see it today, how few (actually) smart people are on TV and talk shows and what have you. For example, there were all manner of people who predicted the many crises we’ve lived through over the last 10-20 years (like the U.S mortgage crisis), but they weren’t entertaining enough to listen to for the masses of television viewers.

    Like you say with Noah & the others — they only want to hear that the economy/future is going to be great and that they’re doing fine. The man with the shiniest crystal ball wins.

    Also, I’m in total agreement with you regarding LKY. Your article on him was one of the best things I’ve read. It’s a shame more people don’t appreciate his dedication and hard work.

    • Good observation with the attention economy and TV shows, I have noticed this too, but it’s something I’m gonna look more for now.

  22. I have some some positives and negative criticism to share with you. Only doing this because I know you’ll be interested in just this rather than the usual pat on the back.

    1. This is regarding the previous article. The status quo contrarianism is really an obvious principle but so incredibly powerful. As an addendum I can add that often you may not even realise you’re following the status quo. This is especially true for self-improvement and the entrepreneur world. In both cases it is competition that counts. If everyone is doing it, you have no competitive advantage. I’m sure 4 hour workweek worked wonders before the book. Now everyone is doing it. The manosphere and the pickup cults are other examples. If a lot of people are doing it, it only means you’re getting second rate information. Right now Tai Lopez and Munger seem to be trends. But like even the most basic of self-improvement advise its 1% information 99% application that counts. Ray Kroc knew nothing about cognitive biases.

    2. I think your use of the second domain is a good idea. I would read that. I’m after your book of principles. If you can post those, that would be brilliant! The new look is good, but somehow the last change you made at the top (the banner) wasn’t as appealing Not that it matters much.

    1. I don’t agree with “assume worst from human nature” being a good heuristic. I think its a terrible heuristic to follow. The reason is this: even if 0.001% of people are serious about their lives and business, (trust me its higher than that), they are the only ones that will matter and the ones you will almost certainly neglect. A small percentage of a giant number is still a big number.

    Secondly, the average person does know one or two things in his profession that could baffle you. Obviously spend your time with someone more accomplished as far as possible. But if you have to spend time someone average. One of them was a sales manager from my workplace I was asked to spend some time with. I squeezed every bit of knowledge about the company out of him. I learnt more in an hour from that than any other book in that topic.

    Thats what Sam Walton did. He was a mammoth in comparison to his competitors but he was always learning every bit he could from them. His philosophy was – we don’t care about the 99% they are doing wrong, we care about the 1% they are doing right. Thinking you are above everyone else is going to trip you up eventually out of sheer hubris. Even if you are actually better than everyone else. Excessive self-regard is a powerful psychological tendency.

    2. I’m not a big fan of these “enter the gauntlet” motivation type blog-posts. I prefer your posts which discuss principles/strategies/tactics you’ve gathered from your reading.

    Looking forward to the book and good luck.

    • Munger a trend? He is too complicated and grumpy to ever be trendy.

      I would also be interested in your other site and in a book of principles. What is this book of principles by the way? You haven’t mentioned this before? (Addressing Ludvig )

    • I appreciate it Shaun.

      “If a lot of people are doing it, it only means you’re getting second rate information.”


      Also, you’re right about focusing on strengths over weaknesses. But it’s not what I meant; I meant to be a realist and to expect the worst, but to be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen.

      Re principles & Carl:
      –I’m not posting this in a long time. Not in a comprehensive way. But yeah, I’ll sprinkle in a few of them here and there on the LS site. It’ll be short and actionable/informative content mostly.

      Also, I agree with Carl, since when did Munger become trendy? I have not seen this.

    • I’m not a big fan of the “enter the gauntlet” theme either. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it’s not necessary to dwell on it. Besides, the “macho narcissism” niche is already well-filled.

  23. “He wants a life of comfort and ease, with sunshine and breeze”

    -those were my exact words, my mantra if you will during my time as a hedge fund manager. I was already 2) Successful, but I wanted 1) Breeze and ease

    (or so I thought, now I have to conclude, based on my actual actions, that I want something else, something more).

  24. I’m 29,5 years old, does this mean I screwed?

    Just kidding!

    If your book is SGM x 1000 I will happily buy it (it’s the least I can do for all the value you’ve put out there for free).

    And if it wasn’t clear, I signed up for info on it.

  25. Is Plato’s (Ideal?) State good? Would you recommend reading his works? If so, what would you say is “the deal” about Plato, what’s so special about him? Admittedly I haven’t looked into him, and I’m not trying to sound arrogant, but I’ve never understood what he did that was so special. If someone could explain it would be appreciated.

    • Plato was the protĂ©gĂ© of Socrates and came up with a lot of ideas. He, excuse the pun, laid the foundation for many other philosophers. While some of his ideas like his theory of forms are outdated, he made many other big contributions.

      The State is considered his magnus opus and in it he describes how a state comes to be, why people go together to create a state, and how he thinks it should best be run.

      The big idea I got from reading that book many years ago was that it is important that rulers are philosophers with both real life experience in business and in education. Unfortunately this is rarely the case among politicians. Not today and not in Platos time.

      Just look at the US. Very few people in senate and other legislative organs have any real experience in either business or academia.

    • Carl said it well.

      I could add one thing: Plato’s “deal” was in telling stories/allegories/analogies. He was good at explaining complicated ideas in a way that the average person could grasp. Here’s a good one from The State:

    • Like many philosophers, especially the Ancients, Plato was better at announcing The Truth than he was at critical thinking and his perspective was limited. His work is of more historical interest than anything else. I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t read Plato, but you won’t miss out on any great revelations.

    • Thanks for taking the time to answer my question so thoroughly.

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