Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Principium is classical Latin for origin, source, guiding principle, element. Principium is the name of one set of my journals. As I came out of my college and post graduate educational life and began to work, I began to consider the the topics of discussion that were in the news. What did I believe? Why did I vote the way I did? What does Capitalism, Socialism, Communism mean? Why this economic system over another? What is a Conservative, a Nationalist, a Libertarian, etc.? I did not know the answers to these questions. I had spent almost 11 years buried in academic assignments and starting a family. Now I needed to know. One evening as I sat working, one of my colleagues was listening to the radio, and the talk show host mentioned a phrase in regards to the forming of our nation that really got my mind thinking. The phrase was "First Principles", and I asked myself what are the first principles of the American nation's foundation? People say we are the most free and most prosperous nation on earth, why is that? As I drove home that night, I listened to the same talk radio host, and I determined to find out some of these answers for myself.
I performed a Google search of "First Principles," and back then, the website firstprinciples.us was in the search results, so I clicked on it. What I found was a book by Thomas Tripp, where it states the following: "First Principles offers a synopsis of the theory, history, and philosophy of self-governance. We try to place in perspective how we got from history to here while simultaneously making estimates of how best to get from here to history." I became intrigued and after reading a good portion of the information on his website, I determined to take myself back through a second college education of my own choosing, because there was just too much about the founding principles of my country that I did not know and I was not taught in all those years of school. I purchased Mr. Tripp's book, which is a synopsis of 44 books.
I found that the short discussions of the books was not enough, and if I were to truly understand the thinking behind the founding of this nation, I would have to read the works that the Founders of our nation read. I purchased all of the books listed and began my journey of discovery. During that journey, I began to document quotes of well phrased, or well answered ideas that the authors made. I wrote out thousands of quotes from the year 2007 to 2015. And what I read changed me. It brought me out of ignorance as if scales fell from my eyes, as if fog lifted from my brain and light began to shine in. I could not understand why I had never heard or read many of the ideas that were shared with me during that journey.
The journey brought with it a new and different type of enthusiasm for learning. I realized that learning was up to me, and I should not rely on what is dictated by others, but I should explore ideas broadly. Principium is the result and the pathway of discovery. I found my reasons for who I vote for, and the whys behind my political, philosophical, and economic views. I found out why this country, in particular, is the most free and prosperous country on earth, and I discovered that there are many that would like to take that away. I am sharing the quotes to inspire, educate, and encourage you to take you own journey. Look into things for yourself. Don't remain in ignorance. The path is not always easy, but the journey is well worth the effort.