The Political Animal Project advances the argument that a people who would be free must periodically reorient itself by the ends of civil and religious liberty (see Upbuilding Political Culture: Why a Self-Ruling People Pursues the Ends of Civil and Religious Liberty).
This traditional vision of ends relies upon five interrelated principles:
- First, from the comprehensive experience of living in a law-based reality, it’s rational to build upon Providence at the root of existence.
- Second, modernity’s pursuit of progress overleaps the mean between extremes and hence fails to cultivate the practical wisdom needed for self-rule.
- Third, ‘social toleration’ is a false idol that prevents the growth of real friendship, or brotherly love, and thereby stifles the development of political freedom and equality.
- Fourth, the dignity of man is based on a common human nature that binds people together across time.
- And fifth, the wreckage in both the soul and city cries out for “new modes and orders” of our Declaration’s two-fold political faith in man’s created origin and our comprehensive destiny as a free people.
These principles (among others) must be applied in the diverse contexts of our lives if we are to preserve the grounds upon which new generations can become constructive political thinkers. Additionally, a corollary of the second principle leads us to laud the blessings of the free market while simultaneously arguing against the anti-political outcomes of our charter as a commercial Republic; namely, we reject the over-extension of the market’s mechanisms into the political domain in so far as they tend to displace the ideal of civic excellence from human hearts. In short, this course of becoming political animals seeks to maintain the best of both the moral and economic sources of our well-being.
I hope that you join us in this pursuit of an American Republic bound together by love of God, family, neighbors, liberty, and justice.