INTRODUCTORY LETTER,… MARCH 15, 2000
THE WILLISON POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY RESOURCE CENTER
As Dr. Kirkland’s quote on the home page so aptly states, the science of government is the most difficult and exasperating areas of human endeavor. Surely, an engineer who is well skilled in the manipulation of the materials used in building a skyscraper in New York finds their management in the construction process much easier going than managing the people he also needs to execute his design.
Why is this ? Is there a way to organize a social unit for an express purpose without erasing their personalities in the process ? What about individual freedom ? What about liberty ?
The science of government, from the foundation stones of society which is the family, to ever increasingly larger social units of civilized society, such as the town, county, state, nation, and finally the government of the world, share equally in the high stakes of this issue.
The designer of this site is convinced that we need not to "re-invent the wheel" , but instead should tap into the superior wisdom of our featured speakers, whose words, when placed in action by elected rulers gave us a country that truly was "the last best hope of liberty", as Dr. Reuben Puffer, Harvard, (1778) succinctly states.
Most of the items linked here were official government documents, originally paid for by public money (the 1809 Osgood piece has an appendix listing printings for Massachusetts, 1631 to 1809, with the series further extended to ca.1875), therefore giving official sanction to the ideas contained herein for nearly 250 years! Typically, these items are listed by one or more of these resources : the Library of Congress, the libraries of the Universities of which our esteemed author's are Alumni,(see Harvard Library's online search!) various historical societies in the U.S., and numerous private collections, and many others as well.
We have re-keyed byte by byte all of the texts from photocopies of the original documents, so while essentially correct, they may contain a few typo’s by our pudgy little fingers!! (scanning was not an option due to deterioration of the originals).
For those of you who are educators, the teaching of authentic American politics and philosophy may be a foremost concern for the well-being of your students. What kind of country will they inherit? One’s personal philosophy creates a direct cause and effect relationship to the general condition of a society. "As a man thinketh, so he is" is a most profound observation. The materials available here presents a perfect opportunity to reinforce classroom discussions for those teachers who wish to convey to their students that virtuous societies can only exist because the individuals in it are virtuous. Needless to say, after the tragic event like the Littleton Colo. school assault, either we return to our writer’s concepts, or "we are finished" as a safe, and stable society, perhaps never to be experienced again.
May you avail yourself of this opportunity!