10. (8-25-2012) When we understand the “why and how” of government, both its methods and its goals, then actually making government happen in a rational manner becomes not just possible, but real.
- Thomas N. Tripp – First Principles: Self Government in an Open Society, 2008
11. (8-25-2012) While government is necessary, its role in the United States has expanded beyond the Founders’ intentions and history’s prescriptions. Time has taught us that government is to arbitrate among citizens while not devolving to directing or controlling them, and to encourage both opportunity and discipline. In order to be successful in this effort, our public actions (or restraint) must rest on a platform of relatively universal social comprehensions and agreements – the freedom to choose, the obligation to take responsibility for those choices and to perform concomitant duties, and the necessity of respecting one another’s rights. We must understand that without an ability to trust one another, in a societal sense, without a mostly uniform sharing of methods and means, and yes, values…, no system of governance can be functional.
- Thomas N. Tripp – First Principles, 2008
13. (8-25-2012) History has shown us repeatedly that freedom is the foundation upon which any society is best organized – mankind is too complex and too idiosyncratic to be governed in any detailed sense. The human condition prohibits such regimentation save only on very basic levels. Even at that level, organizing a free society is not easily achieved, for there is often a grand temptation in each of us to tell the next person what we’ve learned and then, with sometimes messianic fervor, to ensure they proceed in a manner of which we approve. This tug between freedom and control is the core issue with which society must continually deal.
Thomas N. Tripp – First Principles, 2008
(The struggle between “freedom and control” has been waged throughout history. It is incumbent on us to understand that struggle and be part of the solution.)ATJ