I am honored to have been elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as President of The Philadelphia Society for 2016-17. We have already begun work developing two timely topics for our upcoming meetings.
Our 2016 Fall Meeting, History and Meaning of American Political Parties, will be held September 30-October 1, 2016 at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia, PA. This is to be followed by our 2017 Spring Meeting, Can the Constitution Be Saved?, which will be held March 31-April 2, 2017 at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, TX.
These programs fit plainly with the purposes of The Philadelphia Society, which is after all named for the city in which our country was founded. As we organize and conduct them, we will remember that the purpose of the Society is to talk, that talking is the specifically human gift among creatures, that the protection of talking and all that it implies is the whole purpose of the government. If we remember these fundamentals and deepen our knowledge of them we will fulfill as well as humans can our obligations to one another, to our nation, and to the freedom and civilization it was built to protect.
The Philadelphia Society is now more than fifty years old. It was born in the crisis brought by the materialist doctrines of modern liberalism, and since its birth they have grown in prevalence and power. Any member old enough will look back on the early years as a dangerous time for freedom and civilization. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, those dangers have not abated. In some important ways they have moved closer to home, into the practices of our own nation, into the hearts of many of our fellow citizens. One might despair. Yet if the Philadelphia Society was born to combat these evils when they were more distant, it means that it saw ahead to their infectiousness. That is a vindication of our capacity to think and understand outside immediate appearances and dominant ideas. In that fact is the hope, and by our association we keep that hope alive.
Larry P. Arnn