Our principles upon which we place our mission are Liberty, Integrity, Fraternity and Equality or LIFE. Seeming to clash at times, we believe that these principles provide the foundation upon a growing, free and changing society, community and individual can understand the ourselves and each other.
The concept of liberty is described in three general ways. We see liberty as Hobbes did, liberty is the domain where the state does not intervene. This is not to say that the state will always try to intervene in more of the individual liberty but rather to recognize that there is this tension and that the individual should be ever vigilant to the encroachments of the state.
This can be viewed in its extreme at the statement, ‘we, the party, or the Fuhrer, know you better than you know yourself, and provide you with what you would ask for if you recognized your “real” needs.’
While we recognize the necessity of the state and it’s function, we view the necessity of the tension between the individual and the state as a dynamic and healthy one and one that should be nurtured by the access of information and debate with society.
As Berlin Wolf notes: ‘The projection of static and mechanic concepts of man and the scientific worldview into the sphere of the social sciences, the human realm, and especially into the area of historiography is harmful and one-sided, because the spread of the fatalistic-deterministic approach entails the suppression and erosion of individual autonomy.’
We continue to believe that the struggle of liberty is a never ending one.
When used as a virtue term, ‘integrity’ refers to a quality of a person’s character; however, there are other uses of the term. One may speak of the integrity of a wilderness, a computerized database, a defense system, a work of art, etc. When it is applied to objects, integrity refers to the wholeness, intactness or purity of a thing—meanings that are sometimes carried over when it is applied to people. Integrity is also attributed to various parts or aspects of a person’s life. We speak of attributes such as professional, intellectual and artistic integrity.
Ordinary intuitions about integrity tend to allow both that integrity is a formal relation to the self and that it has something to do with acting morally. A number of views have been advanced, the most important of them being: (i) integrity as the integration of self; (ii) integrity as maintenance of identity; (iii) integrity as standing for something; (iv) integrity as moral purpose; and (v) integrity as a virtue.
We view integrity as within and without as something to maintained.
The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy describes ‘fraternity’ as the missing or forgotten aspiration. To say that the concept of fraternity is incongruous within an era of self gratification is an understatement but there are signs that nations and societies recognize the disintegrating forces acting upon them and as such there is clamor of a discourse both public and moral upon which the concept of fraternity gains favor.
A vivid description of the American concept of fraternity is found in a passage from John Steinbeck‘s 1939 novel, ”The Grapes of Wrath.” Steinbeck describes a desperately impoverished family, dispossessed tenant farmers from Oklahoma, camped out at the edge of Highway 66, sharing their food with an even more desperate migrant family. Steinbeck writes: ” ‘I have a little food’ plus ‘I have none.’ If from this problem the sum is ‘We have a little food,’ the movement has direction.” As long as people in trouble can sacrifice to help people who are in still worse trouble, Steinbeck insisted, there is fraternity, and therefore social hope.
We see fraternity as more encompassing, conceptually, we see fraternity as a community and a demeanor in viewing and transacting with others. This is not to say that there will be no debate or opposition but rather that there should be but at the end of the day, we view our fellows as brothers, as family and you know there are always a black sheep or two with the flock.
Fraternity incorporates a sharing of thoughts and of community. We see fraternity as playing a vital role both within the Project, both today and in the future for all communities both real and virtual.
As noted by the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy, ‘At least since the French Revolution, equality has served as one of the leading ideals of the body politic; in this respect, it is at present probably the most controversial of the great social ideals. There is controversy concerning the precise notion of equality, the relation of justice and equality (the principles of equality), the material requirements and measure of the ideal of equality (equality of what?), the extension of equality (equality among whom?), and its status within a comprehensive (liberal) theory of justice (the value of equality).’
We see equality as limited with the Project but not within life, we see Equality within the Project as a community of equals and with all due respect that that should entail as in the ‘Golden Rule’ that which applies to you and your world, ‘treat your neighbor as you would have yourself treated.