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My Two Year Start on a lifelong education

October 7, 2012

My two year Foundations of Liberty education formally ended yesterday, but my renewed lifelong personal education is just beginning.

Two years ago, I heard about the Foundations of Liberty seminars being led by Dr. Shanon Brooks of Monticello College, and quickly signed up for what was to be a turning point in my life.  I’d been an active tea party leader since 2009, but jumping from rally to rally was starting to seem pointless, and I was looking for something that I could do to help the “liberty” movement.

Our country is in trouble, and when things get ugly, as they inevitably will, we will need leaders who have an understanding of how and why our Republic was founded, what it stands for and on, and what we’ll need to do to get back on our feet.

Foundations of Liberty met once a quarter for a full day session of learning and discussions in Albany and Syracuse over a two year period.  In between, a rigorous schedule of readings was required by Dr. Brooks, to include a sampling as follows:  “The 5000 year Leap”; autobiographies of George Washington and Ben Franklin, “Wild Swans” (a novel of Mao’s communist horrors); “Bridge at Andou”;, “Revolutionary Writings of John Adams, “Majesty of Gods Law”, “Making of America – Our colonial History”; Spirit of the Laws” (Montesqieu); “That Which is Seen” (Bastiat), 2 volumes of “American Political Writings in the Founding Era”; Federalist Papers; Anti-Federalist Papers; selections from the “Founders Constitution”; “Coming Aristocracy”, “World Religions”; “Colonial Origins”; “Roots of American Order”; Social Leadership”; Democracy in America”.

“Roots of Order” by Russell Kirk was our first reading two years ago, and it is among my favorites.  Having all of the other readings under my belt, I’m starting over again on “Roots”, as it is so much more meaningful for me now that I have a deeper understanding of the Founding.  Helping our country will take those who have a good grounding in where our “roots of order” originate from, and the ideals and principles that our country was founded on.

In the wings I’ve got on my shelves to tackle – Hayek, Friedman, more Bastiat, Gibbon’s “Rise and Fall”, and a deeper dive into the five volume “Founders Constitution”.  I think it’s urgently important to understand what makes us tick as Americans.

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but the direction feels like the “right thing to do”.  I’ll speak to you in the coming days of what Kirk has to say about the order of the American people, where it’s gone awry, and how we might get it back on track.

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