A years ago, while on a panel with that extraordinary radio personality, Mike Church, and a few folks from another website, I think I caused a bit of a stir by arguing that a real man’s existence was about protecting one’s family from the world, conserving what little order could be found in the family against the shattering disorders of the modern and post-modern abyss.
While I’ve always favored a republic and have been a republican as far back as I can remember, my republic would be a Harringtonian one of extremely well-armed small families and associations of friends and like-minded persons. In my Harringtonian vision, admittedly somewhat idyllic and medieval, communities would come together for cultural celebrations, book festivals, commerce, and a celebration of the sacraments.
It would also, to my mind, uphold the essence of the American founding as understood through the Northwest Ordinance.
And, in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood and declared, that no law ought ever to be made, or have force in the said territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with or affect private contracts or engagements, bona fide, and without fraud, previously formed.
While I very much agree with our own John Willson that no “founding” ever existed, only foundings, I would not look askance at any one who claimed the above, taken from Article III of the profound 1787 law, serves as the “mission statement” of the founding of this republic. For those of us who love ordered liberty, we might speak in terms of commerce and business, but the right to associate applies as much to families, churches, and schools as it does businesses. If we do not have the right to form a family as we chose, the right to open a business means nothing. The right of association is all-encompassing. We have the right to form families, businesses, universities, and, even, websites dedicated to Russell Kirk’s vision of the good, the true, and the beautiful.
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