I’ve just heard about a soon to be released book called Responsibility 911. One of the Canadian contributors, Elliott Frankl, is featured in the Georgina Advocate, an Ontario newspaper. He is a distant relative of the famous Victor Frankl, whose writings are also featured.
As of today, it is still not listed at Amazon.com, but I want to respond pre-emptively to the message of this book:
” … At the heart of the book is the idea freedom cannot exist without citizens accepting responsibility for the society in which they live…”
The announcement by author Thomas Schaff from May about Responsibility 911 is available on YouTube. Thomas Schaff is also one of the trustees for the Statue of Responsibility project. Their video presentation is at www.sorfoundation.org. More information is available at the project’s FAQ.
The video presents a consistent message: “Coming together… brotherhood … in the same boat …not just about self-interest … the greater interest…”
Summaries of Responsibility 911 are available online (here and here (http://community.myfoxatlanta.com/blogs/StooltimeCounseling/2007/7)).
Highlighting some of the chapters: “Everybody Matters” by George W. Bush, “Moral Courage” by Senator John McCain, “Lessons for Leaders” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Never Retreat” by Rudy Giuliani, “You Have a Role to Play” by Barack Obama and “Bill of Responsibilities”, by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Pending articles for the new book include other establishment figures William Bennett and David Gergen.
Reading their “Bill of Responsibilities” will give you a flavour of what Freedom’s Foundation is all about. On the home page, you can watch bi-partisan buddies, Senators Biden and Hatch present the “Freedom Isn’t Free Campaign” video. The Advisory Council for the Statue of Responsibility project also includes the same Senator Hatch.
In my opinion, the number of political figures listed as contributors appears to discredit whatever value the book has as a collection of works on spiritual or self-help topics. Also, the presence of works by self-help authors, and the confusion caused by mixing political and psychological concepts could make this book an appealing and effective piece of propaganda.
The whole idea of the Statue of Responsibility is to “balance” the Statue of Liberty, in effect downplaying and cancelling out the value of seeking liberty, as if liberty and responsibility are opposite values. They define “freedom” as something superior to “liberty” because they say “freedom” also includes “responsibility” (whatever they mean by that). Whatever freedom is (insert Orwellian term here), if you lose it, they say it’s your fault. You didn’t pay the price. You didn’t suffer enough or you didn’t go along with the program and now it’s time to really get started paying for that freedom! So you are going to sit and be lectured by the same people passing the legislation every day that destroys your real freedoms – instead of telling them to stop.
The themes of the book are very clear from the pre-release. In a pure self-help context they might be very positive, but mixed with politics, they convey a totalitarian warning: responsibility (shut up and get in line, it’s your fault, your selfishness and desire for liberty caused all these problems), leadership (we need new leaders like us to rule), accountability and social responsibility (watch out or you’re the next show trial victim like Martha Stewart), transparency (invasion of privacy and private property) and the “role” of the citizen (submission and sacrifice to the State, don’t question the credibility of its institutions).
I can’t help interpreting this as a situation where the ideas of Victor Frankl and self-help authors are going to be twisted by the defenders of a corrupt political system who are given a platform by this book. Liberty means being free to do things with your life that you decide are constructive – and the right to be wrong about your choices – as long as you do not interfere with the rights of others. Liberty does not equate to irresponsibility at all. In fact, we need to exercise responsibility in order to promote liberty, preserve established freedoms and hold the power-abusers in government accountable.
Also published here
June 22nd, 2008
Comments for “Responsibility 911” and the Statue of Responsibility
September 6th, 2008 at 12:28 am
Lets keep it going! The link between responsibility, freedom and liberty is an important discussion worthy of our time and effort.
If anybody reading this post knows how to contact actor/comedian, Tim Allen, from Home Improvement fame, please encourage him to call Daniel Bolz (CEO at the Statue Of Responsibility Foundation). Daniel Bolz would like to extend an invitation to Tim Allen. Tim Allen is a walking billboard for how responsibility can turn a life around so it moves in a forward direction.
Mark Rogers, LPC
Stooltime Counseling (on the web).
September 6th, 2008 at 10:59 pm
To even to start to fix this idea up, if you want a suggestion from me (the author of this post), responsibility needs to be disassociated from looking to government. Responsibility really means taking back power over our lives. That’s why responsibility goes hand in hand with liberty. If this statue is just going to serve the interests of the establishment, of big government in making people look to it for more security and scapegoating and obedience and war, then it’s irredeemable. If it’s funded and supported by the people who are part of the problem, it’s lost. It’s not my opinion. It’s reality. Americans are lost – Canadians and others are in bad shape too. The process of infantilization and dependency and irresponsibility has been encouraged by the growth in government and suppression of liberty. The Ron Paul Revolution is part of the solution. If responsibility is associated with agents of the absolute state that created the Patriot Act, then the true meaning of responsibility is reversed.
February 6th, 2009 at 8:15 am
Great job. Thanks your.
May 13th, 2009 at 4:05 pm
The Statue Of Responsibility Foundation is utilizing a grassroots movement to build the national monument. This means funding for it will come from the citizens, whether they be individuals or groups. Right now, the Pennies For Freedom project, is focused on school children playing a part in the building of the Statue Of Responsibility, now slated for dedication on 7-4-12 rather than on 7-4-10.
Even though the monument will be built on US soil, it will serve as a beacon for the world to increase global awareness of the need to use the word, responsibility, in the same sentence as liberty and freedom.
Lets get the monument built!
May 15th, 2009 at 12:01 am
Liberty means restraining your government. Why don’t you talk about “responsibility” when your government stops torturing and bombing people and lying? Or maybe that’s what is meant by “responsibility” – “might makes right”? I don’t see how ordinary people have any “responsibility” for anything that happens since they are taxed and controlled and herded and indoctrinated like sheep from cradle to grave by manipulators and monsters in government. They need to gain a sense of “freedom” and “responsibility” they are not allowed to have. If they can see the truth about the world they live in and do nothing about it, they’re not blameless I know, but why do you insist on building up the fascist state that keeps people in ignorance?
May 16th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
You’re absolutely correct to say that liberty means less government (I paraphrased your sentence, but it means the same as, “restraining your government.”) That’s what I like about the Libertarian movement.
One of the purposes behind building the monument is to increase, expand and encourage a national/global dialogue on the meaning of “responsibility”. I see nothing wrong with that, especially since a “sense of entitlement”, at all socio-economic-political levels, has its tenticles everywhere in society.
May 17th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
I can’t reconcile how you have all the statists on board with your organization who were writing for it. Wasn’t it irresponsible of them to take away peoples’ liberties through the Patriot Act? I don’t see what value their support has and I would run the other way if I believed in liberty. They’ve been the ones building the Empire and building up a culture of dependency and socialism.
May 17th, 2009 at 9:20 pm
The book, “Responsibility 911″, does feature different political perspectives from different government leaders on the subject of “responsibility”. However, there’s a difference between what the book features and which government officials endorse the monument. For example, I have written to many government officials about the monument during my tenure with the Foundation, and have only had minor success in getting any of them to write back. The same holds true with the media, celebrities, the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA. As a member of the Foundation’s Public Relations Steering Committee, I have found it to be frustrating.
On the one hand, it would be nice to get the endorsement of some of society’s elite people to endorse the monument. On the other hand, without that support, the monument will get built, based on its own merit.
I appreciate having this opportunity to discuss this matter on your forum. Thanks, Alan.
May 17th, 2009 at 9:34 pm
Here’s an example of what I mean. It is a reprint from one of my other blogs located elsewhere on the internet:
I describe freedom as an oasis of excitement, and responsibility as a desert of boredom. To be free is very exciting. To be responsible can be very boring. Freedom is fun, responsibility is hard work. Can one exist without the other or are the two interdependent?
I believe society is beginning to grapple with that question as evidenced by radio and TV talk show hosts like Bill O’Reilly making references about people behaving responsibly or not as he bloviates on a news story. People like O’Reilly take a chance talking about responsibility and accountability as some people meander about in our no-fault society. It is my contention that more people need to get in on the discussion. Where’s the media when you need them to support my contention?
It has been a joy and a frustration to belong on two committees with the Statue Of Responsibility Foundation. The Foundation wants to organize people to privately fund the building of a new national monument that could expand the national dialogue on the theme of people thinking, feeling and acting responsibly. This already sounds boring. It’s no wonder most of the media dismisses the need to cover it.
The joy for me is doing something for which I feel passionate. I have the opportunity to meet a lot of influential people during my tenure with the Foundation. I’m also grateful for being a part of an organized effort that is building a new national monument. What an impact this will have on America and the world! With freedom comes responsibility. With excitement comes the boredom. It almost sounds like a yin-yang kind of thing.
I also feel the joy to know there are plans to provide scholarships to kids after the monument, which will bookend the Statue Of Liberty, is built. Who doesn’t need some financial help to pay for college?
The frustration for me is working to contact influential media sources, and not hearing back from most of them. After all, responsibility is boring. The media likes to project excitement! I suppose it will take a celebrity or other famous person to become the Foundation’s national spokesperson before the Foundation’s efforts to build the monument catches the attention of most of the media. We can look forward to a new book coming out later this year called, “Responsibility 911.” The sales of that book will help financially support the building of the monument.
Here is a listing of people/media I have contacted since August, 2005. Some were kind enough to respond, others were not. I open this up to fellow bloggers. Does anybody have any other ideas to help The Statue Of Responsibility Foundation get the word out so we the people can build the monument by July 4th, 2010? Thanks.
President George Bush.
California First Lady Maria Shriver.
Michelle Malkin-Fox News and Blogger.
Professor Rothman-UNLV History Department.
Vince Swift-The Statue Of Liberty Club.
Oakland University Alumni Magazine.
The Detroit Tigers Organization.
The Detroit Lions Organization.
Al Johnson from Fox 2.
The Bay Voice Newspaper.
The Macomb Daily.
Mort Crim Communications.
The Times Herald (Port Huron).
Senator Debbie Stabenaw.
Congress Woman Candice Miller.
Representative Dan Acciavatti.
Retired Admiral Herbert Meyer.
Paul W. Smith (WJR 760 AM)
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
MLB Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig.
NBA Commissioner, David Stern.
NHL Commissioner, Gary Beckman.
The Heritage Foundation.
The Drudge Report.
Senator John McCain (blog).
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.