About the Project

Lincoln3

Freedom’s Truth: Justice and Responsibility

“Liberty and the American Idea” is a writing project that includes this blog and a forthcoming book, as well as additional resources to come.

The project explores the dynamic interplay between freedom and responsibility in our American heritage.  And, it responds to the decades-long deterioration of social and economic conditions in the United States, to distrust and loss of civility among Americans, and to the degradation of integrity and self-reliance in the American character.

Without partisan political posturing, the book and blog offer insights into how personal freedom and empowerment can be realized despite our differences and the obstacles we face.  A strategy is offered to facilitate a practical long-term approach to stability and honorable prosperity, and a path forward to engage every citizen.

After briefly outlining the complexity of the challenges before us, the first half of the book offers wide-ranging consideration of the historical forces and ways of thinking that have influenced current views and assumptions.

A strategic approach is then presented in the second half of the book which responds directly to the disorder and confusion we can expect from a multitude of oncoming crises.  Americans are encouraged to rise above our differences—at least to the extent necessary—to ensure local safety and the essential needs of our communities.

Rational attention to resolving local problems and meeting shared needs will lead to functional interpersonal relationships.  This will allow us to engage coherently and address dire circumstances.  And only in this way can we gradually come to understand and influence one another as fellow-citizens must.

This is an extremely demanding proposition.  Yet, I believe we have no choice.  Americans are, indeed, challenged to rise to the next level.

Strategic thinking is outlined briefly in the Introduction to the book, (linked at the top of this page), and developed fully in the book.  The project will include the development of practical resources for well-organized and authentic American communities.

Until the book is published, most blog posts will be adapted from or related to the manuscript.  Several completed chapters are made available in draft at the top of this page.  A tentative table of contents may sometimes be made available.  Thoughtful responses from readers, and dialog among readers, will be welcomed and greatly appreciated.  Rules of engagement are posted at the bottom of the homepage.

Recent Posts

Freedom’s Foundation

Principles are often debated, (and sometimes thrown about in combat), without consideration for their foundation in reality.  How deeply do we think about principles?  When we choose to embrace a principle or lay claim to values, do we consider the meanings and interpretations with which each is understood by others?  Does this matter?

In the previous post I invited you to think realistically about the essential character of “truth” and the importance of truthfulness.  We all depend on our understanding of what is true or false to get through life.

Everyone thinks what they believe is reasonable and true.  Yet it is often apparent that our assumptions differ from those of others.  While we assume that our perceptions of truth are valid, we are often reminded that we have many differences with one another, sometimes slight, sometimes quite significant.

And we all live by principles, sometimes without even thinking about them.  Is it possible they can be influenced by inaccurate assumptions or untrustworthy influences?

If our perceptions of truth are influenced by tradition, or news sources, or social media—how do we know what ‘our truth’ is really made of? How do we judge the foundations for our beliefs—the knowledge and reasoning that supports certainty?  The human world embraces innumerable personal truths!

So, what does this tell us about the reality of truth?  Is it possible there is actually a single foundational truth—a foundation for what is real?

Surely none of us can lay claim to understanding such a fundamental truth, yet it most assuredly must exist.  The world of existence could not function without such a unity.

One principle that matters to all of us is freedom, a principle that often seems elusive.  Realistically, life’s many obstacles and constraints can be oppressive. Yet, freedom is a deeply valued principle.  And so, we choose to respond to life’s constraints with maturity and self-control.

There are many principles we cherish despite their challenges.  Honesty, civility, and generosity of spirit are among the most essential for living and working with others. These may not be ‘rules’ in the usual sense, but they represent values we cannot do without.  They lead to trust, and a genuine freedom that rises above limitations and hardship.

When the horizon is darkened; when safety and trust are threatened by chaotic and unpredictable conditions, we can always turn to fundamentals—to patience, forbearance, dependability, cooperation, and most of all, to truthfulness.

Some folks think organized cooperation is impossible.  But it will be impossible to ensure safety or meet basic needs if our differences prohibit collaboration.

Yes, there will always be some people who are afflicted by selfishness and arrogance.  But the future depends on the character of true Americans—a people who have risen to their tests for many generations.

Americans are smart, resilient, and creative.  In the difficult years ahead, I expect we will gain a deeper understanding of freedom.  We will respond with a maturity gained through hardship and necessity.

We live in a reality defined by limitation and challenges.

All form has structural limits and all limits provide the means for leverage.  It is the consistent dependability of this reality that allows us to launch ourselves into new frontiers of learning and experience, to control the direction of our efforts, to instigate, organize, create.  

Without the constraints of necessity we would have no capacity to direct our energy and intelligence, to explore new ideas or undertake new ventures.

Our ability to exercise discipline overcomes the limitations imposed by nature and society.  And the discipline to leverage inspiration against the constraints we encounter in life provides the power to actualize our freedom and transcend the difficulties in life.

We cannot leap without a firm foundation beneath our feet.  We cannot fly without wings.

It is in the encounter between discipline and necessity that we find the ground of freedom.

Tom

Please look for the next post on or about June 2.

A note to new readers:  Blog posts are usually adapted from the forthcoming book and appear on both at the main website and on the Facebook page.  To receive emailed alerts click on the Follow button at http://www.freedomstruth.net.

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