Letter Re: Intellectual Survival

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HJL,

This is a great article and a tremendous gap in most survival discussions!

We prepare not to just survive but to thrive in the aftermath of a disaster, and I assume we all have or are trying to have children.

Imagine how dark the world will become if we let the light of western civilization sputter and die on our watch. If we are to make a difference, if we are to keep our values and our philosophy alive, we need books.

My parents invested in a complete collection of the Harvard Classics. One summer, recovering from a football related injury, I read the complete collection. This was 35 years ago.

While I knew what values my parents lived day to day, I didn’t KNOW these values. To put it in other words, I had an intellectual conversion on par with what a man experiences when he comes to Christ and knows Him for the first time after merely reading the Bible for years.

Now there are times when I wish I were still ignorant. But knowing the philosophies of Hobbes, Hume, Locke, et. al. I understood what the founding fathers were trying to accomplish and how far from that ideal we’ve fallen. Knowing how the early Republic actually worked and the vast differences between European and American societies (even today, though on the surface their forms seem the same) by reading de Tocqueville, was an eye opening experience. It led me to volunteer my time in the Boy Scouts (pre fall from grace days, before homosexuality was openly accepted by ignoring the “morally straight” part of the Scout Oath), and a decade of being a part-time deputy in a county where the sheriff was a constitutionally-minded Christian gentleman.

The harder the values are to follow, the more important it is to understand the religious, philosophical, and ethical foundations for them. And the only way to pass these on to our children is through the use of our library. Thus, the critical importance of our collection of books. – Dr H.

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