This is as fine a definition of virtue as I have ever seen.
Why is self-assertion important? “We have a responsibility to live well. Our challenge is to act as if we respect ourselves. Enjoying ourselves is not enough.” But doesn’t self-assertion clash with our moral duties to others? “No. The first challenge is to live well — that is ethics” and then to see how that connects with what we owe other people “ which is morality. The connection is twofold. One is respect for the importance of other people’s lives. And the other is equal concern for their lives.”
Mr Jeffries is the Guardian’s Frank Rich. Mr Rich just resigned from the New York Times right at the moment that they are asking me for $$$$ to continue reading it. He is a big loss to the op-ed page. Lucky for them they gave me a free subscription or I would’ve been outta there,
For years, Mr Rich was an art critic or something but he wrote about whatever-the-hell he wanted. It’s usually the big political issue of the day but very often on big philosophical questions. Eventually the NYT realized that Rich was more of an op-ed kind of guy than an art critic kind of guy and moved him to another page. He has gone to the New Yorker or something and I will miss him sorely.
But there’s still Stuart Jeffries in The Guardian.
One day he’ll be interviewing the star of Danish police drama that is apparently the most popular show on BBC4. The next he is opining on morality or commenting on the budget.
He is great to read but I wonder what it is like to be his editor.