The Daily Bell affords an excellent alternative perspective on some of the noise and nonsense of mainstream media. In particular, I enjoy reading Anthony Wile's 'free-market analysis' on current subjects and articles. Very insightful.
CUTTING EDGE ANALYSIS
At a time when growing majorities worldwide are tuning out mainstream news, people are seeking the cutting edge, insightful and thought provoking analysis that The Daily Bell consistently provides.
GREAT JOB, DAILY BELL
I can say that, unlike the mainstream press, The Daily Bell knows the questions to ask and has the chutzpah to ask them. They realize that socialism and Keynesianism are wrecking the world and they are helping to save what is left of liberty and free markets.
Get outside the box with The Daily Bell and experience independent views.
READ IT EVERY DAY
A defender of free markets, The Daily Bell takes a libertarian approach to expose and unravel global misinformation. Read The Daily Bell – every day!
OUT OF THE DARK
The Daily Bell leads us out of the dark tunnel of manipulated press into the light of free press.
GREAT INVESTMENT INFORMATION
I love reading The Daily Bell! Interesting investment information, a political and social viewpoint that lets me know I'm not alone in the world and "annotated" with analysis. I highly recommend it to all interested readers.
PART OF MY DAILY NEWS DIET
I read it every day!
THOUGHTFUL NEWS, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
I always read the Bell. The news items are thoughtfully selected, and the interviews are unavailable elsewhere.
A VIRTUAL WHO'S WHO
The good and the bad, the big dogs and the small, the thinkers and the doers among libertarians and on the "Right" – you can encounter them all in The Daily Bell's exclusive weekly interviews. Indispensable.
Liberty is under assault by Big Government. The Daily Bell is an essential tool for information for those who want to fight for freedom.
GUTS, OBJECTIVITY, WISDOM
Rarely does a publication have the guts and objectivity to tell it like it is, yet the eloquence and wisdom to listen carefully to the ‘other side.’ This is The Daily Bell accomplishing its daily mission.
INSIGHT YOU CANNOT IGNORE
The Daily Bell provides unique insights on contemporary political, economic and social problems that can be found in such a concentrated form nowhere else. Whether one agrees or disagrees with it, one cannot afford to ignore it.
PROFOUND AND PROVOCATIVE
Every day, I rely on the Daily Bell for a different perspective you'll never find in the regular media. It's an analysis and timely insight that is profound and provocative.
A LEADING LIGHT
The future is created by the people who build it, not the people who predict it will not exist. You can meet lots of important builders by reading The Daily Bell.
The Daily Bell is an indispensable source of news and information for those seeking to curtail the power of the welfare-warfare state.
PREMIER FREE-MARKET ANALYSIS
The Daily Bell rings out for liberty every day. It is the premier online source for insightful and hard-hitting free-market analysis and interpretation of economic, political and business events.
The Daily Bell does a remarkable job of exposing how money power uses central banking to crush people into submission via global government with economic and political slavery being the desired end result.
Sit down to read from The Daily Bell and experience a jolt of intellectual energy.
The Daily Bell is a fantastic source of challenging thought from a wide range of freedom loving people.
THE DAILY BELL IS A MUST-READ
Because the world is changing so rapidly, it is difficult to keep up, which means The Daily Bell is a must read. I consider the information critically important reading.
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For alternative views on contemporary politics, culture and science, from a libertarian point of view, check out The Daily Bell.
I enjoy reading The Daily Bell because it often has refreshing and novel ways of looking at things.
INFORMATIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION
The Daily Bell is an informative source of information and commentary from leading figures in the liberty movement. It's a pleasure to be interviewed alongside far more notable individuals.
TRUTH AT WORK
There are very few publications out there that have the smarts and guts to tell the truth about the dictatorial forces at work destroying our civilization. Thankfully The Daily Bell is one of them, and it appears in the mailbox every day.
The Daily Bell is one of the most innovative and in-depth websites on the Internet. The breadth of the content is awe inspiring and the amount of knowledge imparted is almost impossible to quantify. For me, as a liberty minded seeker of knowledge, it is a must read.
SEPARATES WHEAT FROM CHAFF
The Daily Bell is a true beacon to lead in helping the reader to separate the wheat from the chaff.
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I love the Daily Bell. Every issue is principled and informative.
The Daily Bell features consistently solid analysis of and thoughtful challenges to contemporary statism. I am proud to be on the team.
AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The Daily Bell has come out of nowhere to introduce to the Internet community some of the most intriguing and proactive interviews there are out there. Let's hear it for creativity and being ahead of the curve.
MESSAGES OF TRUTH
The Daily Bell website is one of the authentic voices cutting through the clouds of vapid opinion, the morass of mediocre media and the confusion of Orwellian doublespeak. The Bell website lives up to its name, ringing unheard messages of truth in our ears.
GREAT THINKERS YOU CAN'T GET ANYWHERE ELSE
The Daily Bell has revived that great old institution of the personal interview, extracting information from today's great thinkers you can't get anywhere else. Outstanding!
SOURCES YOU CAN TRUST
The Daily Bell should be on everyone's shortlist of news sources you can trust. It's on mine, and we often refer to it in our own weekly news service at The Reality Zone.
The Daily Bell has a great libertarian point of view, and excellent economic analysis. Add it to your daily reading.
A MUST-READ FOR EVERYONE
The Daily Bell is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the effects of the state on our economic future.
I really enjoy reading The Daily Bell for the excellent research and content provided on a wide variety of issues vital to the Freedom Movement.
I consider The Daily Bell essential reading for anyone desirous of understanding the way the world really works.
I read The Daily Bell every day and I find it very informative.
VOICE OF REASON
I have thoroughly enjoyed the analysis and interviews at The Daily Bell, which has so often been a voice of reason during these perilous times
How to Achieve the Good Life
February 27, 2014
Editorial By Wendy McElroy
Imagine two scenarios.
1. A friend is visiting and excuses herself to use your washroom. In there, she notices an expensive diamond necklace lying in a corner of the room. It is the necklace you've said is missing and you fear is lost. Your friend's rent is overdue. If she swipes the necklace and pawns it, then she'll be able to settle all the debts that are haunting her.
She picks up the necklace and debates whether to pocket it. She is almost certain to "get away" with the theft and she knows you can recoup the loss through insurance. Moreover, the two of you have been arguing about a boyfriend you 'stole' a few years ago. Wouldn't stealing something of yours be just? After a long internal debate, she emerges from the washroom with the necklace and says, "Look what I found."
#2. A friend is visiting and excuses herself to use your washroom. Like friend #1 she notices the diamond necklace. She is in the same financial situation as #1 and also lost a boyfriend to you some years ago. #2 immediately scoops up the necklace and heads out to tell you the happy news.
The question: Which is the most honest human being? The one who actively decided to do the "right" thing, or the one to whom the thought of theft never occurred?
My response: #2, because honesty had become such an ingrained part of her approach to life that stealing no longer occurred as an active option. Honesty had become an automatic response that required no thought. In short, honesty was a habit and second nature.
The key word is "habit." A habit is an ingrained pattern of behavior that prompts you to act in a specific manner in most or all situations. In his engaging book, The Uses of a Liberal Education, philosopher Brand Blanshard explained the habit of reasonableness. He wrote, "The first point to note about such reasonableness is that it is a disposition or habit. Habit, not knowledge, is the main thing we take with us from a college education....[W]hat is essential is not information at all, but the habit..." This is nothing more than a characteristic that has been established by repetition.
When the emphasis is placed on a "pattern" of behavior, a question arises about the analysis of the opening scenario. Namely, how can the habit of honesty within Friend #1 and Friend #2 be judged based on one instance? It can't. Perhaps the internal debate of #1 is an aberration sparked by her upset over the "boyfriend argument." Perhaps #2's immediate disclosure of the necklace stemmed from her having taken a large sum of money from the apartment-owner's purse 10 minutes before.
The role of habit can be demonstrated by considering another scenario. Your neighbor is a meticulously neat man, whose perfect grooming and attire you have witnessed over the course of the last year. One morning as you greet him at the mailbox, however, you note stubble on his chin, the wrinkled T-shirt on his back and stains on his blue jeans. Has your neighbor gone from the habit of neatness to one of slovenliness? No. He is a neat man who happens to be slovenly on this one occasion. It is the pattern that matters.
The word "habit" has fallen upon hard times. You hear about "drug habits," "overcoming habits" and "breaking bad habits." A great deal of negativity is attached to the word, but classical Greek philosophers – especially Aristotle – viewed habits in a very different manner. They considered habits to be neither good nor bad in themselves but to be powerful tools that could be used toward either good or bad ends. In answer to, "How do human beings achieve happiness?" Aristotle replied that happiness was the by-product of possessing good habits by which you preferred acts and things of substance, in the correct amount and in the correct order.
In his accessible book, Aristotle for Everyone: Difficult Thought Made Easy, the philosopher Mortimer Adler distinguished between different types of habit. He explained, "Persons who have developed the skill of playing tennis well possess a good habit, one that enables them regularly to play well. Persons who have acquired the skill of solving problems in geometry or algebra have a good habit." The former is "a good bodily habit"; the latter is "a good habit of mind." There are also habits of action by which you make choices without having to go through the process of debate; for example, you don't have to decide not to drink every night because you have developed the habit of moderation. Or you avoid debating with yourself about theft in a friend's bathroom because you have developed the habit of honesty.
The word "good" and "bad" in this context are not used in a moral or judgmental sense. Rather, they are used in a practical how-to sense – for example, on how a person can achieve "the good life." If a habit facilitates that goal, then it is "good." If it is obstructive, then it is "bad." Accordingly, when a habit is called good, it means the habit will assist you to achieve a worthwhile goal. To some extent, that's what classical Greek philosophers meant by the word "virtue"; it was a useful habit that allowed you to pursue a goal like "the good life." And the most useful habits were called "habits of pure virtue"; that is, patterns of behavior that settled into a person's character and collectively became his or her disposition.
The ultimate goal was not merely virtue or being good according to some dictated standard. The goal of life was personal happiness or well-being, which should be viewed as an objective value. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle stated that happiness as an ultimate goal should be taken for granted by all human beings. But what is happiness? Aristotle wrote, "there is a very general agreement; for both the general run of men and people of superior refinement say that it [happiness] is... living well and faring well... but with regard to what [happiness] is they differ, and the many do not give the same account as the wise. For the former think it is some plain and obvious thing like pleasure...."
Much of classical Greek ethics revolved around the connection between virtuous habits that become characteristics and happiness itself. Significant disagreement existed between specific philosophers, however, on what that connection was. Aristotle believed habits were the most important factors in promoting human happiness but he allowed for the considerable impact of outside influences such as health or the loss of loved ones. By contrast, the Stoics denied the role of outside influences and believed happiness was entirely within the control of the individual.
My next column will be "What is the Good Life?" And it will explore the specific content of this elusive state of being that is achieved through habit.