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The country has changed enormously since our founding. Our borders have expanded enormously from those of the original Colonies. Industrialization has overshadowed and overwhelmed what began as a largely agrarian colonies.  The population has grown in density as well as absolute numbers. The population has shifted from a fairly monolithic culture to a tremendously diverse one. Businesses, once primarily small and local, have grown into leviathans that can and do prey on the individual in ways that exceed the behavior of the East India Company – who’s tea was dumped in the Boston harbor. We have gone from debtor nation to creditor nation, and back to debtor again. We have gone from isolationist to leader of the western world. We have gone from a small defensive military force to the greatest military power in the world. We have moved away from slavery, and embraced women’s suffrage.

We are nowhere near the country we were at our founding. In some ways, we are better and stronger. In others, we are weaker and worse. We have traded wisdom and humility for pride and arrogance. More is demanded of the individual, more is surrendered to private interests.

Trying to return to the ways of the past is to ignore the present and sabotage our future. We must, as a nation, rediscover the wisdom and scholarship of the Framers and apply it to the present or we shall surely “meanly lose the last best hope of Earth.”

That is what I, and this blog, are About. Hence the name, John Locke Jr.

Can we, can they, by any other means, so certainly, or so speedily, assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by concert. It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
Annual Message to Congress — Abraham Lincoln
Concluding Remarks
Washington, D.C.
December 1, 1862

 

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