Thursday, December 27, 2007

Liberty and Spirit, Part 1

This is the first installment in a series entitled, "Liberty and Spirit." The article series will explore the historical and current understanding of Liberty and the Human Spirit as well as consider alternative strategies for our future. We begin with a discussion (abridged) by Herbert Hoover regarding the definition of liberty. I welcome your comments.

Thank you for reading...This is Gretchen Jannette, and I bid you a good day!

NOTE: President Herbert Hoover is one of many who have written at length of liberty and liberalism. Here are some words of Hoover which I share with you. Look for more works of his in Political Science journals published in the 1930's. Tomorrow, a historical source that looks at Liberty.

Herbert Hoover

Who may define liberty? It is far more than independence of a nation. It is not a catalogue of political rights. Liberty is a thing of the spirit - to be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, and to speak without fear - free to challenge wrong and oppression with surety of justice. Liberty conceives that the mind and spirit of men can be free only if the individual is free to choose his own calling, to develop his talents, to win and to keep a home sacred from intrusion, to rear children in ordered security. It holds he must be free to earn, to spend, to save, to accumulate property that may give protection in old age and to loved ones.

It holds both in principle and in world experience that these intellectual and spiritual freedoms cannot thrive except where there are also these economic freedoms. It insists equally upon protections to all these freedoms or there is no liberty. It therefore holds that no man, no group, may infringe upon liberties of others. It demands freedom from frozen barriers of class, and equal opportunity to win that place in the community to which their abilities and character entitle them. It holds that these liberties and securities to constructive initiative and enterprise alone assure the immense need of material, moral, and spiritual achievements of men.

There are stern obligations upon those who would hold these liberties - self-restraint, insistence upon truth, order, and justice, vigilance of opinion, and cooperation in the common welfare.

Out of our philosophy grew the American constitutional system where the obligation to promote the common welfare was mandatory and could be made effective; wherein was embodied in its very framework the denial of the right of government itself or of any group, any business, or any class to infringe upon essential liberties; wherein the majority was to rule; wherein government was to be "of laws and not of men"; whereby the individual was guaranteed the just protection of these rights by its tribunals - the structure of American democracy.

Our system has at all times had to contend with internal encroachments upon liberty. Greed in economic agencies invades it from the right, and greed for power in bureaucracy and government infringes it from the left. Its battles against betrayal of trust, business exploitation, and all forms of economic tyranny have long demonstrated that it was no system of laissez faire. Its battles against the spoils system or the expansion of bureaucracy have long demonstrated its live sense of opposition to the subtle approach of political tyranny.

It is now claimed by large and vocal groups, both in and out of government, that liberty has failed; that emergency encroachments upon its principles should be made permanent. Thereby are created the most urgent issues: first, whether we must submit to some other system by which the fundamentals of liberty are sacrificed; and second, whether, even if we make these sacrifices, we shall not defeat the hope and progress of humanity. These are not partisan issues. They are the greatest issues of American life.

It is my hope to show that to resume the path of liberty is not to go backward; it is definitely to choose the sole path of progress instead of following the will-o'-the-wisps which lead either to the swamps of primitive greed or to political tyranny. The hope of America and the world is to regenerate liberty with its responsibilities and its obligations - not to abandon it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

'Spirit of Citizenship' Blog Goes Live February, 2007

"Spirit of Citizenship" Aims to Inspire Civil Discourse Leading to Viable Solutions to Nation's Challenges

Honolulu, Hawaii, February 17, 2007 - Gretchen Manco, creator and editor of The Spirit of Citizenship blog, relates that the purpose for this long-envisioned blog, and related forthcoming social media, is "to reinvigorate the American spirit of citizenship within our society at large". Gretchen believes that the tide of ennui currently expressed by low political-engagement behavior in younger generations of U.S. voters is capable of being transformed into a rising tide of energy that will inspire people of all ages to renew their commitment to active citizenship.

The blog will serve as the repository for the "Civic Discourse Group" discussions that relate to matters and/or ideas of importance that often enter the public arena (e.g., education, health-care). "Civic Discourse Groups", which are still in development, are simply groups of interested citizens who meet in their local areas to engage in a listening forum (includes a Q&A session) with representatives from various organizations and government. Civic Discourse Groups will be addressed in forthcoming blogs.

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Copyright, 2007, 2008. Edited 12/2007 for updated copyrights.

'The Spirit of Citizenship' Blog Opens

The Spirit of Citizenship is a blog envisioned by Gretchen Manco. This blog has a two-fold purpose: to impart encouragement to the citizens of the United States of America during this time of extended duress, and to promote civil discourse and implementation of solutions to challenges that are squarely facing the United States at every level. The Spirit of Citizenship asks Americans to revitalize their engagement with democracy, and to renew their hope in the United States and its ideals. We are now open for civil discussion.
Welcome, Friends, and may God bless America!

I'm Gretchen Jannette...Thank you for reading.

(All copyrights reserved, 2007, 2008, Gretchen Jannette Manco and The Spirit of CitizenshipTM. Please respect author(s) by using appropriate citation(s), and obtaining special permission as may be necessary.) Edited 12/2007 for updated copyrights.