To combat the corrosive affects of contemporary cynicism implicit in the ineffectual carping that has so many people feeling defeated these days, Arthur C. Brooks recommends … ancient cynicism. As it turns out, ancient cynicism – exemplified by Diogenes of Sinope who resided in a barrel, disdained conventional values, and lived by his wits – is salutary and therapeutic. Diogenes’ distinctive lifestyle devalued conventional goods, elevated self-sufficiency as a guiding virtue, and encouraged (for the first time in Western history) a cosmopolitan conception of the human community.

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