F.02 – INTRODUCTION – How Do We Begin?

America was founded as a democratic republic with the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.  More than 230 years later, our great nation now finds itself under siege from within its own borders in a conflict fueled by the complexity and ineffectiveness of an extremely contentious and litigious citizenry.  Our debt and deficit are out of control, and yet more and more people are living on the streets.  With all of the advances in technology and creature comforts available to us, our youth are rioting in the streets and tormenting others for political incorrectness.  Our politicians claim to be our saviors who will restore unity, but instead promote policies that cater to special interests.  As we allocate a growing portion of our federal budget to social welfare, we also drift dangerously toward a socialistic form of government.

America is at a crossroad, and “We the People” must wake up and begin making better choices about the future we want for our children and grandchildren.  In front of us are two very different futures: 1) in which America returns to being the shining city on the hill and the moral leader of the world; 2) the other in which America slides into an authoritarian country where greedy and corrupt politicians prioritize their own luxury over the health of the country. 

The U.S. Constitution is the contract between us (the people) and our government, and it was uniquely.   designed to ensure that government is held accountable to the citizens of America.  But over time, the government has found ways to manipulate the will of the people and tighten its grip on the levers of power.  If we want to move our country in a better direction, it begins with the citizens of America.

The challenge is that we are divided and idealize vastly different views of the world.  We think we support the same values and principles, but we don’t.  Our education system, news media, and entertainment industry have indoctrinated us on what they believe is deplorable and admirable.  These resources tell us we should be ashamed of America’s history and no longer be proud to be an American.   How can we reverse this situation and place authority back in the hands of the people?     

The only way to return power to the people, is for the people to unite and demand it.   But first, we must come to a common understanding of truth and shared values.  We can no longer rely on what other people tell us is true.  We must learn for ourselves the distinction between truth and its distortion.

The search for truth is extremely rewarding and begins by having an open mind and looking in the right places.  Don’t rely on unverified modern resources, such as news, entertainment, and groupthink.  Turn instead to classic books, unbiased movies, internet research and updates from quality organizations.  Asking the right questions will lead you to the books, articles, and groups that will support your journey and lead you to the truth.   

Beginning our Journey

Each of us is a unique individual. In order to experience a rewarding life, we must find our own path and meaning of life.     We value our freedom and autonomy, and we need a country that is aligned with human nature and supports us as individuals.   The foundational philosophic questions at the heart of forming communities were defined in Isaiah Berlin’s book, “Freedom and Its Betrayal.” They are:

  • Why should an individual obey other individuals (groups or bodies of individuals)?
  • Under what circumstances do people obey?
  • When do they cease to obey?

While humans strive to enhance their lives with more comforts and adventures, the things they cherish most cannot be purchased or given to them.   In addition to freedom and autonomy, they include:

  • Peace and tranquility
  • Prosperity and quality of life
  • Friends and family
  • Safety and security
  • Fairness and justice
  • To be understood and heard
  • To be recognized and respected

That America has been as successful as it has is because it was designed around the concept of individual freedom through “Natural Law”.     Natural law is a system of law based on close observation of human nature. It is based on values intrinsic to human nature, values that can be deduced and applied independent of positive law.  According to natural law theory, all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by “God, nature, or reason.”   Natural rights, according to John Locke, are the following rights that spring from the exercise of natural law:

  • a right to property, since we have a corresponding duty not to steal
  • a right to life, since we have a duty not to kill
  • a right to liberty, since we have a duty not to oppress.   

Armed with this rudimentary understanding of human nature, we will now shift our focus to the next level of concepts involved, the subject of individuals living together in communities.  For this discussion, we will turn to Adam Swift’s book “Political Philosophy.”

Adam Swift analyzes the five concepts causing the greatest confusion and disagreements within society.  They are: Equality, Liberty, Justice, Community, and Democracy.   While Americans agree that these concepts are fundamental for a fair and prosperous society, they have vastly different beliefs about what these concepts are and how they should be implemented. 

These five concepts must be analyzed and discussed in terms of dichotomies.  A dichotomy is an idea or concept that has contrasting or opposing phases (ebb and flow) such as war and peace, love and hate, winter and summer, or day and night.  In some cases, these contrasting phases are natural and critical to the health of the system or concept.  In most cases, it is important to understand the best aspects of each phase in order to find the ideal balance and approach. 

While this document covers human nature and the characteristics of dichotomies, other white papers will be analyzing Swift’s five political philosophy concepts and discussing their implementation.  As we explore these issues in greater depth, however, we must consider that these concepts are very closely interactive and interdependent.  As modifications are made to one of these concepts (e.g. Equality), it can have significantly negative impacts on other concepts (e.g. Liberty and Justice)   Below is an illustration of how these topics will be addressed.

While reading is an effective way of learning, it can be greatly enhanced through group discussions that are commonly called learning circles.  These sessions enable participants to communicate their questions and concerns and gain a better understanding from the wisdom of the group. 


As a country, we are too serious and have lost our sense of humor and the ability to laugh.  Each of us is so firm in our own personal beliefs, that we have trouble seeing the forest from the trees.  The world is extremely complex and multi-faceted.  Yet we enter every argument armed with our favorite viewpoint, expecting that to stop all dissension.

Our politicians are inflicted with the same deficiencies.  But they, however, believe {that} they have the superior intellect and the authority to ignore the will of the people.   This is very dangerous and unhealthy for our country.  And there is no higher authority than “We the People” who are uniquely qualified to resolve this problem.  America’s future needs everyone to become informed and join the people who are working to restore America.  We must offset the people who are working to tear America down.