Arete is a concept that arose in Classical Greece. Basically, it refers to the attributes of a GREAT MAN. According to James Herrick in his book The History and Theory of Rhetoric (2013), it can be defined as the following:
Arete = Virtue, Excellence and Leadership Ability
I support this concept.
It’s important that we have a clear understanding of greatness. What are its components? What does it looks like? What people are good examples of Arete? By doing so, we establish a clear path. The young man is given a distinctive goal and a solid philosophy.
If we don’t provide our children with an Arete, then a more dubious philosophy will supplant it. The philosophy will, most likely, come from media charlatans and seditious academics. These denigrating philosophies will undermine the potential of our children.
The Major will print a copy of this word, along with its definition. Then I will frame it, post it to my wall, and make sure that my son reads it. He needs to understand that there is a clear road that’s leading to excellence. There is a path that the GREAT MAN can follow.
Art should raise the human spirit. It should elevate us into an ethereal plane…expanding our consciousness. It should give us the courage to fight! To never back down or regress into a stilted form. Art should make us feel like Roman soldiers. It should affirm the universal life essence of BEAUTY.
One painting that illustrates these ideas is Self Portrait with Death. It was created by the Swiss painter, Arnold Bocklin, in 1872.
The message is simple. The artist is proud and confident; and yet Death follows him everywhere. However, the great artist is not overcome with fear. Instead, he continues to pursue his lofty goal – the elevation of human beauty in the face of danger. By doing so, he becomes a GREAT MAN.
Let’s reaffirm the beauty of life! Let’s gather the rosebuds of exquisite passion…the blessings of passionate love. Let’s look into the mirror and see the becoming man, shedding his coat of insecurity.
A picture tells a thousand words. This photo, taken at the impressive Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, shows the famous painting by Rembrandt, “The Night Watch”. We see a row of girls, typing away at their cell phones. A masterpiece of history, obscured by an Instagram like or a Facebook update.
I guess we should not bemoan the present. The digital age is here and we are immersed in it. No sense in being a Luddite and besmirching the new technologies. That being said, every coin has two sides. The implementation of a new system must, by its mere creation, obscure the work of an older one.
In life, we see all types of men: young men of ability, middle-aged men with families, older men in contemplation. They all seem relatively equal. What is to distinguish one from the other? How do we know which one is superior?
I say that you preference men with a vital force. A man whose blood is still coursing through his veins. A man that exudes passion and has expelled the parasitic forces of complacency. In short, a GREAT MAN with an active spirit.
It’s too easy to reflect back…to ponder the deeds of our youth. “Remember when I was a somebody!” mutters the nobody. This type of nostalgia is to be frowned upon. The urgency of now is real, and only the brave will rise to meet the challenges of humanity.
Your inner circle should be filled with GREAT MEN. And more specifically, men with an active vital force. Ones that have an appreciation for natural beauty and artistic merit. Ones that respect the divine force of empiricism. Ones that believe the becoming man is worth more than a jealous pettifogger.
You should preference the man that retains a vital force.
When you have nothing beautiful left to give, your life is over.
GREAT MEN throughout history have known this. And this is why they’ve cast aside a life of sterile comfort, willing to die on the battlefield of truth. In the face of despair, they hoisted a noble sonata. In a world of duplicity, they confirmed a universal life essence.
The Satanic forces are watching. They’re ready to obliterate the first sign of natural beauty. They’re ready to lash out at a noble man, using calumny to denigrate his name. They’re ready to paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
And yet…we fight. We continue to evoke the highest order of the human spirit. We continue to channel the GREAT MEN of yesterday, waving our paint brushes of passion. And we continue to scale a Mount Everest within.
We don’t do it for commerce or public acclaim. And we don’t do it to feel loved. We do it because when you have nothing beautiful left to give, your life is over…
Recently, Major Styles was at an educational conference. About 90% of the teachers were left-wing provocateurs (standard for a modern college, really). The teachers were not mildy left-wing, either. They were fanatical followers of the Frankfurt School, the ideological foot soldiers of Max Horkheimer. In short, everything is racism, sexism and homophobia.
During the conference, I was introduced to a new theory – live grading. Essentially, this means that the teacher does not grade any papers. Instead, the teacher holds a conference with the student about his work. During the conference, the student explains his thinking to the teacher. If the teacher approves of the answer, he provides the student with an appropriate grade.
It sounds cutting edge to a certain degree. But like all left-wing ideologies, once you remove the scab, you see a festering boil underneath.
Essentially, the left-wing teacher can now fail a conservative student because he did not provide a politically-correct answer. The written essay was a form of legal proof for the conservative student: i.e. he could bring a hard-copy paper to an administrator if he disagreed with a grade. However, now he’s prevented from doing so. It’s his word against that of a liberal teacher. And we all know who’s going to win that battle.
If your son/daughter is taking a class and you hear the term “live grading,” be very concerned. Most likely, your child is in danger. They’re about to be devoured by a left-wing parasite. It’s your job to fight back, letting the liberal instructor know that you object to his dubious machinations.
Can you still capture the heroic glory of life of life? For one moment, can you sing the song of ascension? Can you still be a lofty soul, playing a guitar solo on the mountain peaks of victory? Can you carry another on the waves of an exquisite passion?
I affirm as much for myself. I stand on the coastline of despair, still willing to fight. I raise my voice on the battlefield of defeat, still affirming the universal life essence. I challenge the force of spiritless materialism, of human cruelty, and of dark and hopeless corners.
For what is a man if he cannot dream? What is a man is he cannot still fight?
The GREAT MAN can never give up. He refuses to drown in the sea a despair…he battles to protect a noble tome.