Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hillsdale and its message to the World: The Truth Shall Set You Free

“Together we have built a beautiful dream;  We have proved that integrity, values, and courage can still triumph in a corrupt world.”
George Roche III, Hillsdale College

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

            And from dreams we must wake to consider the truth;  From truth we must glean the needed facts which make the future, as a reality, possible. 

            I met President Roche many times when my daughter, Ayn, was a student at Hillsdale.  I met Mr. Trowbridge and was inspired by the message and will that kept this small mid-west college alive with the philosophy of freedom.  When I dropped off my daughter, I was comforted by knowing that she was entering into an institution that would enable her to explore the greatness of the world while it kept her safe from the depredations that stalked so many other campuses in America.  Hillsdale offered this and delivered. 
            But I have now reached a point of discontinuity with the powers that plot the course of Hillsdale’s progress into the future.  And the issue is not George Roche’s right to privacy regarding the death of his daughter-in-law. 
          George Roche has no right to privacy.  His son might claim that right; but not he.  And his son is speaking out and seeking justice for a beloved wife. 
            What is private is so because it has not become public.  This is painfully public.  And in this we find played over again, in a very different venue, the protestations of Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky Affair. 
            We must stop living in a world we divide neatly into public ethics and private ethics.  Because we live in only one world and the untidy detritus washes up on the shores of that world, visible in the lives of individuals damaged by sexual depredation, abuse, and all the kinds of theft, fraud, and violence, that we consign to the veil of the private.    Lives are shattered by private acts of wrong doing in ways that are more lasting and costly to individuals at least as often as they are by acts of public malfeasance and war.   Acts of private depredation consign more women to welfare than do public acts. 

            Bill Clinton had no right to privacy that enabled him to live one ethical life privately and another publicly;  Neither does George Roche III. 
            The freedom movement, a combination of Conservatives, Libertarians, and other individualists, have in this crisis, an opportunity to extend the vision of justice and sovereignty inherent in the individual into a vision which emancipates the human spirit, making a new understanding of the future not just possible, but immediate. 
            It is really very simple.  We must stop circling the wagons when our own fiefdoms are threatened.  We must open ourselves up for truth, thus creating clarity in understanding for ourselves and revealing to others that no crisis is more immediate or important than simple truth and the individual.   
            In truth, those damaged can find healing.  The victims of sexual abuse know this in their bones.  Without it their lives cannot begin that process.  Should we offer those at Hillsdale, including George Roche III, our support if the truth is told?  Of course.  But first, the truth. 
            Lissa Roche left a child.  He deserves to know the truth.  And that must include all the truths that these circumstances call into question.   He is owed answers.  George Roche IV, the maligned son of the dynamic and charismatic father, is also owed the truth, as is the wife he discarded after many years of marriage.  It is clear that depredations took place in the lives of these people, and it was a very personal kind of wrong doing.  George Roche III used his power, created in the public realm, to control those vulnerable to him, in the private. 
            If we adopted a code of ethics that asked from each of us the same level of honor that we expect in business we would have a schematic for personal behavior that would make this kind of wrong less common, but which, more importantly, would reduce the confusion when it is uncovered.  Such a formula, called Benevolent Individualism, exists.  These are the tenets:

1.  All human action to be appropriate to creating a world of increasing creativity, production, and trust must be based on exchanges between individuals which are made in the absence of force, coercion and fraud. 

2.  The more powerful party to any exchange is responsible for ensuring that the exchange is fair. 

            Lissa Roche was seduced by a powerful man who committed her to secrecy, thus cutting her off from help, beginning when she was still very young.  She was the victim of a sexual predator and it eventually killed her and devastated her family.  

I wrote this in 1999 and found it today while I was looking through old files.  It was true then and I stand by it today. MP-F