AUDIENCE MEMBER 00:07
I read a lot of the stoic philosophers last year. Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius…
CHARLIE MUNGER 00:12
Well I can see why you would. There’s a lot to be stoic about. (laughter)
AUDIENCE MEMBER 00:17
Agreed and as I glean lessons from them there was one name that kept coming to mind, that is Munger, Munger, Munger….
CHARLIE MUNGER 00:27
Well some people think that Marcus Aurelius is all right. (laughter)
AUDIENCE MEMBER 00:33
Can you talk to me about the influence that the Stoics had on you and some of your favorite advice from them.
CHARLIE MUNGER 00:39
A lot. A lot have had (a lot of influence) on me, including Epictetus who started as a slave. No I like those old Stoics. And part of the secret of a long life that’s worked as well as mine is not to expect too much of human nature.
It’s almost bound to be a lot of defects and problems. And to have your life full of seething resentments and hatreds, it’s counterproductive. You’re punishing yourself and not fixing the world. Can you think of anything much more stupid than trying to fix the world in a way that ruins yourself and doesn’t fix the world? It’s pretty stupid. I just don’t do it. I have a rule for politicians. It’s a stoic rule…I always reflect that politicians are never so bad, you don’t live to want them back. [Inaudible]
When I was young, the California legislature was full of small time insurance brokers and lawyers looking for an unfair advantage. They were being entertained by restaurants with prostitutes and bars, by racetracks, and liquor distributors and so on and so on. Fade in fade out. We have a different kind of a legislature now, and I just want all those old crooks and lobbyists and prostitutes back. (Laughter)
You laugh but you young people, you’re going to live to wish we could have Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump were immortal. (Laughter)
"Part of the secret of a long life that’s worked as well as mine is not to expect too much of human nature. It’s almost bound to be a lot of defects and problems. And to have your life full of seething resentments and hatreds, it’s counterproductive. You’re punishing yourself and not fixing the world."~Charlie Munger