Measure For Measure

Legion is the 18th episode from LOCI's second season. In this episode, Robert Goren and Alex Eames investigate a studio owner who brainwashes young boys with the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, an emperor of Rome, in order to use them as his little, obidient, semper fi soldiers for theft. Let's remember some Marcus Aurelius talk:

Robert Goren: An old Roman war movie... Before he went into convulsions, he was quoting Marcus Aurelius.
Ron Carver: Marcus Aurelius, the Meditations...?
Alex Eames: He was a Roman Emperor...
Ron Carver: And a follower of the Roman Stoic philosophy... But I wasn't aware that Marcus Aurelius was an advocate of suicide.
Robert Goren: Well, he wasn't... But like any belief system, in the wrong hands, Stoicism can be twisted to mean whatever you want...
Alex Eames: The wrong hands being Jojo Rios'...
Robert Goren: His idea of self-control... The way that the bodies were laid out for burial... Where they were buried... He's following the playbook! Even the name of his sound studio, Sixteen One, the year 161 A.D. The year Marcus Aurelius was made Emperor.
Ron Carver: Mr. Rios sees himself as a general, leading twelve year olds in a criminal enterprise with the help of a second century philosophy...?
Robert Goren: Uh... Stoicism inspired the Roman legions to march across Europe and Africa... I mean, if you're gonna start a gang, you could pick a worse motto.

Stoicism, whose name derives from the porch in the Agora at Athens, was one of the new philosophical movements of the Hellenistic period. The stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and free will, the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how they behaved. For instance according to Epictetus; freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires but by the removal of desire or to Seneca; the point is not how long you live but how nobly you live or to Aurelius; to desire is to be permanently disappointed and disturbed, since everything we desire in this world is empty and corrupt and paltry.

I remember an elite man of taste also a murderer and a cannibal MD saying this: First principles, simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? Well, my nature is plain, I'm a simple girl. Therefore I always prefer Sophism than Stoicism. The sophists were pretty simple and eager to teach anything for a price. Since the sophists were one group of rhetoricians or public speakers who focused more on the sound and style of their speeches rather than on the content; their teaching was practical instead of ethical. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, many other rhetoricians considered the sophists’ arguments shallow. In fact even today, if someone says that an argument is sophistic he means that the argument is shallow:) Nevertheless it should be kept in mind that Sophism was made famous by Plato, Aristotle and Aristophanes.

I have one more reason to like Sophism; the essence of the teaching of Protagoras, the earliest known sophist who taught for pay, is contained in the quote: 'Man is the measure of all things; of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not'. Ah, this great, unwritten, unspoken unacknowledged principle of measurement:)