On September 23, 2016 IWP held a reception for the release of Conceived in Liberty: The American Worldview in Theory and Practice by Walter Kohler Professor of International Relations, Dr. John J Tierney.
The President of IWP, Dr. John Lenczowski, introduced the lecture by illustrating the core components of Dr. Tierney’s book. He explained how the book examines the relationship “between the philosophical categories underlying our country and how we comport ourselves in the world”, and concluded by stating how Dr. Tierney ought to be considered a national treasure.
Following this, Dr. Tierney began by discussing the thematic foundation to the book, the discovery of the factor that unifies the work. America, Dr. Tierney writes, must find “its way in the world” through the exploration and spread of liberty. He notes in the book that Thomas Jefferson accurately expresses the harmonious order of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by which political virtue is measured. A panoramic view of liberty and its philosophical underpinnings within American society is essential because, “we are too deeply embedded in the trees to enjoy the forest”, and as a result of this, the guiding drive of liberty and a focus on it have been diluted over time.
The concept of liberty and exceptionalism was embedded within Americans’ minds from the founding without extensive overarching perspective on it. Dr. Tierney explains how exceptionalism provides a common point of reference in Americans’ worldview in social and political developments. Dr. Tierney concluded that liberty is essential to democracy rather than anathema to it, and that a nation’s zeitgeist is key to the development of that nation’s drive, objectives, and ultimately, power.
This book has been dedicated to The Institute of World Politics.
It can be purchased here.
The video of this event can be viewed here.