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Friday, January 27, 2017

Lyceums Anyone?

Time again for Lyceums
Of a Conservative Bent.

By definition the Lyceum Movement was an adult education type of group coming from the method Aristotle used with his students in ancient Greece.

The newer ones of which I’m talking about were scattered across the country before the Civil War. They were made up of local then later traveling speakers talking and helping to educate the citizens of the day on the topics of the day. Abraham Lincoln gave one of his first public speeches at the Lyceum in Springfield which started to get him noticed. They were an example of what made America Great. Individuals getting together to fill a need. In this case a means of educating themselves.

“The Lyceum movement was founded on the principle that local speakers would share information within communities.” We see this concept practiced today in many different forms but the concept of locally sharing information at a grass root level remains the same.

This movement started in 1828 before the Civil War and flourished up until that epic struggle. This like so many of our great ideas started with the ideas of self-sufficiency and individual freedom but morphed into something different through the years.

From the article in the beginning, “the idea of being self-taught was popular at the time. Back around 1800, Thomas Jefferson had upheld the notion of the yeoman farmer, a self-sufficient, rural laborer, as the ideal democratic citizen. Since that time, the virtue of being self-sufficient had remained important and extended to a desire to educate oneself. So, Holbrook (the founder) brought these concepts and beliefs together. In 1826 he implemented his new theory about adult education by organizing the first lyceum society in Millbury, Massachusetts.”

Freedom loving people are thirsty for knowledge for their own betterment. They are willing to take it from where they can find it. Remember this movement was before the advent of the internet and even public education as we know it.

Why do I think we could us a Lyceum now?

From my days in the Tea Party I see a need for an alternative to the isolated and reality distorting effects of the internet. I love the internet. Where else can I within seconds of typing “Lyceum” into my google search bar could I come up with hundreds of thousands of things written about Lyceums? It is a wonderful tool. It borders on miraculous.

Why then do we need to go to the bother of getting in our car and drive to some location and maybe even pay a small amount to sit and listen to some speakers talk about what they want to talk about? What is it that makes learning things in a group of people more – fun?

Why do 100,000 people fill The Big House to watch the U of M football team? Why do people travel miles, hundreds of miles to spend hours finding parking places and then walk miles to sit in a small wooden/plastic chair for 3 hours without much of a clear view of seeing the game? Why pay big money for a hotdog and pop/beer when they could sit at home and with no effort sit in their comfortable lazy boy and stuff their faces while watching up close shots of the action with replays nonstop?

It’s that indefinable sense of community one gets, that feeling that we are not alone. That little extra feeling that what we do is ok and in some cases even good and necessary. Trump new that feeling, so did I as I watched videos of the long lines of people hoping to get into one of his huge venues. 

I felt it before that during the Tea Party days at the large rallies where attendees who were just average folk standing around looking at each other and smiling, sensing how cool this was but not really knowing what to do. I was part of it locally when we in Oceana County put on our own type of (Lyceum) to show case the State Supreme Court nominees. There we were face to face with the candidates, talking with them before and after. Also another time we put on an event show-casing 7 primary candidates for the US Senate seat in Michigan. Up until that point all 7 together had not been in one place, and here they were in Hart Mi. talking with people and everyone enjoying the experience. People to this day remember that event and ask if I am putting on another event like it.

Just thinking of the comradery again starts me thinking of how and when to do another such Lyceum. 

Why again do we like these events? I ask, is the reality of life that we experience exactly what we like or are we forced to do things we may not like? Do we not sometimes learn from the experience? Maybe learning things that we wouldn’t normally? Are we not sometimes better off for the struggle? Is the house of cards we build in virtual reality truly a house that will stand up when reality blows in?

Cry babies 

Ask the Hillary supporters how they are doing as they flail around trying to hold up their house of cards, after Donald Trump blew through town?

Again for this site of mine called Bottom Up Politics, I ask if any of you want to be a part of setting up a Lyceum? It would be relatively simple. Pick a topic and find a place and get a speaker, set a time and have at it. See end of blog post to get my contact stuff.

La Fiesta 

Till then don’t forget about our own Cozy Conservative Corner which meets every Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock am at the La Fiesta Restaurant down town Hart corner of State and Main. All are welcome. Kind of a mini Lyceum with only ourselves as speakers. We just sit and eat breakfast and talk politics. Numbers range from 3-15, usually closer to the lower end. Political Candidates and elected officials welcome to attend. We’ve had our State Senator and State House Rep. Also one time we had our US Rep. We ask them all to just keep the campaigning to a minimum. A good place to listen to your constituents.

Regards, Bob Carr
Live Dangerously, Tell the Truth

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