The Six Mistakes of Man

The Six Mistakes of Man

by Cicero

  1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others.
  2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
  4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
  5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and studying.
  6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Any thoughts …


Well I’ve gotten personal gain by crushing others…otherwise the list looks good to me.

Interesting, and rather ironic if the Cicero here is the Roman advocate and Senator Marcus Tulius Cicero. Who was a slaveowner and aristocrat and achieved considerable personal gain by crushing others, as did everyone in his class; who worried constantly about things that could nto be changed or corrected; whose trivial preferences dominated his whole life.

I also wonder when he wrote that. The biggest mistakes of Cicero’s entire life revolved around his opposition to Caesar, which were partly responsible for a civil war, Caesar’s dictatorship, and the rise after Caesar’s assassination of permanent autocracy under Augustus. Yet he mentions nothing about letting personal animosity rule political choices.

I suppose the only one I can really disagree with, though, is the first one. Every system of economic imbalance and privilege is based around recognition that keeping some people down serves the gain of other people. Pretense that it is otherwise is fairly common to aristocrats like Cicero, but a pretense it remains.

Hi All!,

It seems to be the opinion of most that the fact that that “personal gain” can be made by “crushing others” is not a delusion, but rather everyday experience. However, it doesn’t state that personal gain “can be” made, but that it “is made” by devastating other people. This infers that to make personal gain, I have to “crush” or defeat others.

What is personal gain? It is the acquisition of exclusive assets which objectively or subjectively raise the quality of one’s own life. This is to some degree how “progress” is understood and therefore also a goal of our industrial societies. The idea of creating a better society is linked to the acquisition of assets.

The question is, whether we are unable to do this without “crushing” others? Is there a way of raising the quality of my life without invading the quality of the lives of others? The implication is that Rome can only have a good life by ruling and taxing other countries, which it has “crushed”.

Is this the only way?


no, but it is the human way.


I have literally crushed others and won, or did I?

Sometimes you can win, win, win, but the methods that you used to do so change your mind about yourself for the negative. You might have gotten what you wanted materially or struck fear in your enemies, but in the meantime you’ve lost innocence and the belief that you can be a good person.

You have to watch it.

Hi Mr. Predictable,

what do you think about win-win strategies?

There is also the famous saying by Zig Ziggler, “When you help people get what they want, you get what you want.”


It all seems rather simple to me: I can coerce or not coerce. If I accomodate deferentially to an experience, I win - as a person. If I coerce, I lose as a person. The public “keeping score” is irrelevent. I can’t hide from myself. I know, I spent many years trying.

I completely agree with that.

I also see that people don’t die with their wins but with themselves. If we create a personal world filled with aggression towards others and struggle for position, then I suspect that we’ll feel quite empty when our time comes. That could be any time and so the time is now.

Personal gain can very well be made without crushing others, unless you count the earth under your plow as ‘others’. There is no necessity to crush to gain the means to a richer life. The Earth provides enough means when one puts effort into it, and fellow humans have enough skills and knowledge they will share with you when you offer something in return or even ask nicely. I believe the primary reason people crush others is that to a certain type of human it feels good to drive an axe in another mans’s skull.

when you gain materially by crushing others, you make enemies who later make efforts to twart your efforts, in doing so you inhibit your ability to grow further.

Personal gain can be made however by assisting others as well, because if you help your coworkers to live happily, this will improve the total productivity which will increase profit, and so you will also benefit personally.

This is the basic principle behind socialism, and when done on small scale it seems to be very effective. an example would be communes and
co-ops around the world, where helping others helps your self.

The basic ecnomonics principle suggests that this is the only way.

Cooperation is capitalism. Socialism is illusion. Communism is not about cooperation, it is rather based on overcoming the basic economic principle.

The question is, how does society overcome that principle?

The entire Marxist philosophy was aimed at coming up with an anwser to that question.

That anwser has been misunderstood by the socialists.

there was socialism long before Karl Marx wote the communist manifesto, it was referred to as Ideal socialism and was somewhat disregarded in favor of scientific socialism created by Marx.

Ideal socialism worked by dividing the resources evenly between those involved and using it to help them better themselves, there were several small scale situations that worked wery well at this and so fundimentally it is very sound.

Marx however didn’t feel that this system could work because it was based so loosely around Ideals and he wrote insted about one based on science, now known as communism, marx was a blow hard who didn’t try to even test the Idea though, he just wrote the book and others did put in the effort to find out that it didn’t work.

Sorry but communism is hardly the definition of socialism, it’s more of an outbranching, like the various denominations of christianity.

Evenly dividing the field, has been tested and tried thought the past century, and miserably failed. It was carried out by large and powerful socialist states who wanted Marxist ideas to do wonder work without knowing what the ideas were.

Lenin did not essentially understand Marx because like the utopians, he did not see beyond economics. The difference between political economics and economics is that the former positions itself in a field by which it can challenge the basic economic princple, while the latter works under that principle irrespective of what they convinced themselves of. Whoever works under that principle is necessarily capitalist, voluntary or involuntary. Irrespective of how well one enriches oneself by cooperation, one can always do better by exploitation. That is the principle. Cooperation is aimed at accumulating capital, in any case, and this is the essential point.

Marx believed that the principle can be and will eventually be overcome, as society naturally progresses. In the commual society, people voluntarily labour for no ab-substantial capital gain. In short, the aim of society has transformed from material to spiritual pursuit. Capitalism ends here and only here. The idea of socialism is a weak point in Marxist philosophy, he knew that, but it was implemented there for a good reason. Unfortunately it worked backfired, mainly by leading Lenin astray.

Marx gave humanity at least 300 years to achieve communism. Lenin already waisted 100 years off the schedule, by trying too hard to be an illusive socialist. Sealing Russia the chance, effectively by reading Utopianism into Marxism. His failure and his fellow socialists faure, did not prove Marxist philosophy redundunt, rather it proved utopian economics impossible.

Marx remains unproven, indeed in this respect it is godly, for theoretically none can reject its ideas. Karl was an ambitious and unhappy boozer exiled out in London, an alleged pub fighter, who wanted to see some future action before passing away. He announced that capitalism was ready to be over taken by socialism, then threw out his manifesto and declared revolution. But into this socialist stage, he invented little faith in its level of communistical spiritualness. What he wanted was a massive brainwash under the material conditions of socialism, so that people can be exceedo-historically attuned into a spiritual readiness for eventual spiritual prosperity. He saw capitalism as a waist of time, what he wanted was a communism-friendly pseudo-capitalism to replace capitalism. In material terms, Marx wanted a firm and prolonged rearrangement of the distribution of income in order to shape and attune the mental framework of society towards the communist sphere. Again, he wanted history to speed up. Again, his disciples slowed history down.

He heard it when Nietzsche advised all philosophers to be silent. But one says that surely, he did broke the advise. If one says that, one is a socialist. Because the launch of socialism was for Marx, parallel to one of those unfathomable metaphors and reticent aphorisms that Nietzsche threw out in order to maintain genuine silence. Whoever remains entirely speachless betrays his silence. By masking as such in communication anda action, one achieves geniune silence. But, at a great risk. One knows what Nazi did with Nietzscheanism. So Lenin was Hitler’s counterpart, they were very much reactionary to the environment of each other’s.

Social Darwinism is without such ambition, necessarily therefore, it waves up no revolution, what it gave lastly was the gradual transformation from feudalism to capitalism. Marx reacted against Darwin. Nietzsche sensed that reaction, criticised it and advised philosophers to remain silent instead of trumpeting socialism et cetera. Nietzsche wanted Darwinism to walk the line but not in a way that would increase Nihilism thereby ending itself. Marx wanted to make sure that Nietzsche would actually work out.

But Nietzsche did not had the worries that Marx had. Nietzsche emphasised that individually, insofar as the will to power works out, it will be fine. For this reason, Nietzsche worried about socialism on the account that it opposes individual will development. Marx did not see that danger, because he concentrated too much on the material aspect of development. Marx was proven wrong right here, although his entire effort is justifiable under the Nietzschean scope - based around the common principle that spiritual prosperity is proportional to material prosperity - so perhaps just off course due to emphasising imbalancely.

Modern Marxists must incorperate the Nietzschean philosophy as a balance in order for their campaign for another round of revolutions to actually end up somewhere different than the first round.

I am interested in working out towards a comprehensive system of social policies for a state that is informedly willing and conditionally ready to completely get over the capitalist stage.

The ILP state, for instance, still seems to be capitalist in a big way.

humanity is capitalist in every way.


It’s amusing that you should say that on a free site where you help out for free!

That was why Nietzsche wanted to overcome humanity.

But of course, by streching the definition of capitalism out of the subject domain of capital into that of culture, you level up capitalism with will to power.

Nietzsche the ultimate capitalist pig… Fine by me. Though miss not the fun

I think the list can be shorted.

  1. Greed
  2. Ignorance
  3. Hate

Mistakes can be corrected, otherwise they wouldn’t be mistakes.


I don’t understand your collection of photos.

You seem to have a very narrow view on capitalism and socialism, especially since you seem to associate socialism with communism, Socialism was around long before communism, and is still in effect today working in tandem with capitalism.

Switserland for example has a heavy tax structure that would make most americans cringe, but they also have a social structure that is virtually free of need. True they have many drawbacks just as all others, but the fact that they can exsist by combining capitalist and socialist Ideals simply states that the two are not so nearly so black and white as you make them seem.

Communism is by a base flawed due to its inflexability, as Pure capitalism is flawed due to it’s lack of structure. but the two can easily find balance between them, they are not opposed but simply two diffrent sides to the same spectrum.

Most Modern countries in fact combine the two in their governments thorugh social health structures and government owned industry, these simple aspects allow the government to regulate and assist such situations while still allowing personal freedoms.