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Building Political Integrity
Your thoughtful contributions are invited.

The Liberation of Us All

CivicWiki was created as a reaction to our deepening political division. Our desire was to surface fundamental principles on which most of us can agree. One of our assumptions is that there are such principles around which a broad consensus can be built. On that, we would like to build a consensus of how government should work. If that is too tall an order we can, at least, hold a civil discourse from which will come better mutual understanding rather than tribal reaction. Our political divisions will become more principled, less tribal, and therefore smaller. Tribalism is not completely bad. A community of like minded people can accomplish great things - the creation of The United States for example. But today tribalism is being pushed to its extreme until it does not require understanding, it discourages it. A tribe's members do not have to understand their beliefs; they only have to conform to them to belong. Nor do they have to understand those of other tribes; they only have to oppose them. (A link to a great example of tribalism at work.) CW will pursue better understanding. To do that well, we need to understand our own beliefs and those that differ.

Initially, we worked from an historical perspective. The premise was that the United States was, and still is, the most dynamic and successful society on the planet; that it became so because of the principles and institutions on which its government was formed; and that erosion of those principles and the way we have reconstructed our institutions (the rise of the regulatory state as one example) is damaging our economy, our society and us as individuals. CW’s aim was to persuade that reclaiming our foundation was the best way to repair society and ensure the future for us all. Our direction was shifted somewhat by the realization that our fundamental motive is not, foremost, a reconstruction of society and government or to simply go back in time. CW’s fundamental motive is the liberation of us all as individuals.

Featured article

Inalienable Rights
Belief in the existence of a set of rights vested in every person is fundamental to the concept of liberty. It is the central premise of the founding of the United States of America. Such rights have been referred to as 'natural', 'God-given', and 'inalienable'.
America's Declaration of Independence contains brief, but compelling, words about "unalienable rights". It is a radical document - but then the founders of the United States were not conservatives - they were radicals in the cause of liberty.(Full article...)

A Self Evident Truth

America’s political history tells us that the object of most political thinkers, that were around during our beginnings, was to establish a society in which each individual, with the smallest possible deference to the authority of his rulers, would have both the right and responsibility of guiding his own actions within a framework of legitimate rights and duties. That tradition is still valid, but being now old and, for some, stale ore even passe, it could use a restatement in today's terms.

A CW premise: We hold this truth to be self-evident: that each of us should be free, and moreover, that this is universally valid. Another CW premise: Most of society’s ills can be cured by maximizing our freedom as individuals. We will work to substantiate these premises. CW articles will discuss what we mean by freedom, maximizing freedom, and how that makes a good society. (Freedom and liberty are synonymous in the way we use them on CW.) Such a discussion is necessary because the desirability of freedom is not self-evident to everyone. Belief in individual freedom seems to have a shelf life. After a couple of centuries we take it for granted; its value seems to wane; society has always been imperfect and we want to create “better worlds.” At no time in the history of the planet has any society done that except by creating more liberty. “A better world” has never been achieved by trading liberty for it.

Having articulated the principles of freedom in today’s terms, we will then apply those principles to the problems of our time. CW will discuss the meaning of liberty and the various ‘freedoms’ that are sometimes claimed and sort through which are real and which are not – and why. We will then apply those principles to the issues. As part of this, we must also understand the trends in thought that work against freedom. We will dwell on economic freedom, without which, we will ask, can individuals or society be considered free? Civicwiki’s work will answer that and other questions.

CW seeks objective discussion of civic issues. It is in response to the political process as it has become today - a process of partial or distorted information and rhetoric calculated to elicit an emotional reaction, all to serve political agendas. CW prefers political advocacy that places objective truth above agenda. It's a tall order that will require the participation of an expanding group of contributors.

How to Contribute and Why

We made this site a wiki to make it easy for you to contribute your knowledge, insights, and thoughts. We use the same software as Wikipedia which has perhaps millions of independent contributors.
The pages of Civicwiki are currently only sparsely populated. Anyone with interest can become a contributor.
We need a few people
who wish to help further CW's mission as a major contributor, applying their writing skills to CW mission of breaking our political deadlock.
Please browse the site and read about CW.