It almost snuck past me, but prominent businessman and investor, Ray Dalio, just released his book, Principles: Life and Work. If you aren’t sure who he is, there are many hours of him speaking all over YouTube, but these clips from Evan Carmichael will give you a brief look at what he has to share.
While the focus at Fountain of Chris is educating and advising the next generation of leaders, there is plenty one can learn from a businessman as successful as as Dalio, without focusing on investment strategies or financial events.
The book is nearly 600 pages, so you can expect the Fountain Notes to be ready this Friday, the 22nd, but I’ll be back with an update before then. You can connect to the Fountain of Chris Twitter for short quotes and updates, Facebook for the good stuff that won’t fit on Twitter, and Instagram for my dogs, daily antics, and some business stuff.
Click here to take a look at the Fountain of Chris store. Volume 19 – The Haidmaid’s Tale, just released today (Thursday the 20th), and you can get the annotated edition for the price of the basic if you buy before Saturday at 12pm EDT.
Many thanks to all of you who have made purchases in support of my fundraising effort for the United Way of Greater Houston flood relief. As I write this, there are just under 17 hours left before I match what has been raised, and send the total donation off to them.
For those of you who haven’t done so yet, pick out whichever volume(s) of Fountain Notes appeal to you before 1pm EST on September 5th, and I will match those sales and add them to the donation.
This is my way to giving you something you can learn a lot from while you also help make a difference for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Let’s finish strong!
I got a bit distracted with the Hurricane Harvey relief idea and forgot that today is my man crush, John Locke‘s, 385th birthday. To celebrate, I’m going to have a 24-hour half-off sale on Fountain Notes Vol. 008 – Two Treatises of Government, basic edition. Instead of the regular $1.97, you can get it for just $0.97…and remember, all proceeds will be matched, and go to the United Way of Greater Houston for Hurricane Harvey relief.
In this volume, you will find these favorites of mine…
“Property…is for the benefit and sole advantage of the proprietor…but government, being for the preservation of every man’s right and property, by preserving him from the violence or injury of others, is for the good of the governed.”
“Every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer, both to deter others from doing the like injury…and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal…” A murder “has declared war on all mankind.”
“The end [goal] of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” “Where there is no law, there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others.” “Who can be free when every other man’s humor might domineer over him?”
…as well as many more.
The sale lasts until 9pm EST on 9-30-17, so take a look, and buy soon.
Major catastrophes require a major response, and I’m sure we have all been wondering how best to help those whose lives have been upturned by Hurricane Harvey. I’ve decided the best way I can help is to use my products as an incentive to you guys to donate more to the relief effort.
To that end, I will match 100% of the sales of Fountain Notes this week with my own funds, and donate the total to United Way of Greater Houston (4/4 on Charity Navigator with a 93.29 out of 100). Since it’s already Tuesday, this offer goes up to 1pm EST on Tuesday the 5th of September, after which I’ll send off the combined donation.
I have a special offer available while this is going on. This PDF contains all 18 volumes of Fountain Notes that I had completed by the start of this fundraising effort. Please remember that I will match and donate all sales of Fountain Notes through 1pm EST on 9/5/17. This bundle is for those of you who are interested in helping, while also getting every volume of Fountain Notes, basic editions, at a steep discount. Buying all 18 separately costs $34.46, but you only pay $19.97 (saving over 40%) with this bundle. Of course, you are welcome to buy them separately, since it all goes to United Way of Greater Houston, but I wanted to give another option for those of you who are tight on funds. Here is the link. Thank you for your support. ~Chris
United Way of Greater Houston:
< https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation/ >
< https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm… >
**U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West, creative commons**
**Short on time? Click here for a free PDF file of the notes I took while researching for this article, including many which didn’t make the final cut.**
Even after the safe removal of four monuments in New Orleans earlier this year, and the clandestine removal of four more in Baltimore earlier this month, there are still around 1,500 monuments and memorials to the Confederacy across more than 30 states. In a similar fashion to the Confederate battle flag debate from a few years ago, the current national debate is focusing on publicly displayed monuments to the Confederate cause in areas which are not battlegrounds or specific historic sites. City by city, we are in the process of deciding what to do with them.
To clarify, this debate has nothing to do with monuments or memorials to the Confederacy on private property, nor the right for private citizens to display the Confederate battle flag in public. Those are, and should remain, within an individual’s Constitutionally-protected rights. Furthermore, commentators from across the political spectrum (including The Atlantic and The National Review) think battlefields and museums remain appropriate places to display these monuments. Those who want to use their time to visit these places and learn about America’s divisive history will experience the monuments in context.
Unfortunately, creating the majority of the public memorials and statues to the Confederacy had much less to do about accomplishments in battle than it had with celebrating and promoting white supremacy over blacks, which explains why the majority were erected after the Jim Crow laws took effect, at the height of the Ku Klux Klan‘s power (1895-1915), and another spurt of monuments began after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, as Southern whites felt their superiority threatened.
As for Robert E. Lee, it is tough to find an objective article about this man who has become so polarizing. Some focus entirely on his flaws, which are perhaps more noticeable after 150 years of social progress, but others focus entirely on his strengths, neglecting how complex his character was. This failure to provide the complete picture is exactly why I listened to the recent, 33-hour biography by Michael Korda, Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, and created Fountain Notes for the Next Generation of Leaders Volume 018 from the information within it.
Lee is a polarizing figure exactly because he was complex. If you want to look at him and see “nothing worth celebrating”, you will find enough evidence to support your position. If you want to make him into some mythical saintly legend, you will find enough evidence to do that too…but doing either requires being disingenuous enough to ignore the other half. Perhaps gray is the perfect color for describing him, both physically, and morally.
As you will learn in Volume 18, there are a number of similarities between Robert E. Lee and George Washington. There is no way Korda could have known three years ago that in 2017, President Trump would wonder aloud to the nation if taking down monuments to Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson would lead to removals of Washington’s own monuments and memorials. Writing in Reason, Eric Boehm calls this argument “nonsensical”.
Matthew Yglesias writes about how a Yale commission considers the concept of “principal legacy” when evaluating historical figures. To quote Yglesias, “Confederate leaders, by contrast [to the founding fathers], are being celebrated purely for doing something bad.” This statement is overly simplistic, and tosses aside the numerous admirable qualities which Lee possessed, and for which he is also remembered, but it is hard to deny that Lee’s choice to fight for the South was, whether he liked it or not, a choice to fight for continued human bondage.
In order to give you a better-educated opinion on the comparisons of Lee and Washington, I moved Ron Chernow’s 41-hour biography, Washington: A Life, all the way up to the on-deck circle, and am currently listening to it in preparation for Fountain Notes Volume 019, which should be out within a few days. So, between Volumes 018 and 019, you will be one of the best-informed people you know for discussing how Lee and Washington are alike and different, and you will know what to emulate, and what to avoid, from these two lions of American history.
This still leaves us with the task at hand: What to do with the remaining public Confederate monuments. In an article where Kevin M. Levin explains the power of seeing the empty pedestals where statues of communist leaders once stood, he also mentions off-hand what is likely the best way to proceed. Speaking about how the offending statues in Prague had either been moved to museums or destroyed, he says, “The monuments were exactly where they needed to be, as determined by the community members themselves.” [emphasis mine]
New Orleans, Baltimore, and now potentially North Carolina, decided on their own, through local, elected representatives, to remove the statues which societal pressure has turned against. Yes, these monuments have been offensive to many from the start, and the Southern cries of “protect our heritage” may really be “fighting for their right to declare their ancestors good, despite the evidence of the horrors they perpetuated…”, but the key to bringing the Lost Cause era to a permanent end lies in community pressure, followed by local decisions.
Finally, while crowds of protesters, or lone actors, may be considered “local”, the moral cause of the removal effort is immeasurably strengthened, and made sustainable, by staying within the system. As Baltimore showed, even governments can take rapid, effective action when public opinion is strong enough. For those of you who would like to know more, but don’t have time to read all the articles I linked to, click here for the free PDF file of notes I took while researching for this article, many of which didn’t make the final cut, but are still plenty-relevant to the topic. Enjoy!