Local Zoom Round Table on Strength of Our Constitutional Republic – Thursday, January 28

Please join us for a local Zoom round table at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 28, to consider the strength of our Constitutional republic.

Why are constitutional republics established in the first place? A long forgotten turning point in the road to the Constitution was the abolition of kingship in England, Wales and Ireland in 1649 after the Puritan Revolution defeated King Charles I and executed him for treason against the realm. The act of abolishing the office of King, March 17, 1649, said:

II. And whereas it is and hath been found by experience, that the office of a King in this nation and Ireland, and to have the power thereof in any single person, is unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous to the liberty, safety, and public interest of the people, and that for the most part, use hath been made of the regal power and prerogative to oppress and impoverish and enslave the subject; and that usually and naturally any one person in such power makes it his interest to encroach upon the just freedom and liberty of the people, and to promote the setting up of their own will and power above the laws, that so they might enslave these kingdoms to their own lust; be it therefore enacted and ordained by this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, that the office of a King in this nation shall not henceforth reside in or be exercised by any one single person; and that no one person whatsoever shall or may have, or hold the office, style, dignity, power, or authority of King of the said kingdoms and dominions, or any of them, or of the Prince of Wales, any law, statute, usage, or custom to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

In Federalist Paper 37, Madison wrote “The genius of republican liberty seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people, but that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people.”

But Federalist Paper 51 asserts that “It is of greatest importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.”

In Federalist Paper 48, he wrote ”It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”

Federalist Paper 51 says “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

But Federalist Paper 55 affirms that “As there is a certain degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain proportion of esteem and confidence, Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.”

Thus, Benjamin Franklin’s quip: “A republic, madame, if you can keep it.”

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

The session will last about an hour and a half.

International Zoom Round Table on Pope’s New Encyclical – Thursday, December 10

At 9:00 am (CST) on Thursday, December 10, we will be convening an international Zoom round table on Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, and you are invited to join us.

I had a comment on the encyclical in the October issue of Pegasus. The entire encyclical can be found here.

The Pope has, to me, wisely challenged us to think of dialogue and encounter at this time in human history. The Caux Round Table (CRT) began in dialogue and emerged as an encounter among business executives from Japan, Europe and the U.S., each with their own values orientation, but ready to see the affinity of their beliefs with those of others around the table and to accept the truth that all sought very similar outcomes for business – care for stakeholders.

I presume that today, participants in CRT round tables would have the same dispositions and would recommend, as a common good, dialogue and encounter.

Participation will be limited to the first 25 people who register.

To sign-up, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

The session will last about an hour and a half.

Please Join Us Next Friday for an International Zoom Round Table about the U.S. Election and What it Means

Even though we don’t yet know who the winner of the U.S. presidential election is, we want to invite you to share your perspectives about the election with us at 9:00 am (CST) next Friday, November 13.

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Participation will be limited to the first 25 registrants.

The session will last about an hour and a half.

Do Presidential Debates Matter Anymore? Should They? Please Join Us Over Zoom on the 15th

Please join us at 9:00 am on Thursday, October 15 for a Zoom round table on whether presidential debates matter anymore and should they?

The Caux Round Table Principles for Government make discourse fundamental to ethical government. But what is good discourse and what is discourse that degrades or vitiates the quality of governance in a republic?

Participation will be limited, as usual, to the first 25 registrants.

Please confirm your participation to jed@cauxroundtable.net.

International Zoom Round Table on Coronavirus – Thursday, August 20

Please join us at 9:00 am (CST) on Thursday, August 20, for an international Zoom round table on the coronavirus.

We’re planning to create a statement drawing upon the experience of the past several months with the virus and we seek your advice and counsel, as well as lessons learned, to be shared with our international network.

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Participation is limited to 25 attendees.

For those of you who can’t attend, we would be interested in your suggestions and thoughts, as well. Please send those to us by simply responding to this email.

American Crisis Zoom Round Table – Friday, July 31

How has a society and culture so remarkable in the scope of human history for creating wealth and opportunity and maintaining ever expanding enjoyment of political and civil rights and entitlements under a constitutional democracy without relapsing into either anarchy or tyranny come to such a circumstance of division, polarization and crisis over racism – even after the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement and the emergence of middle classes in all ethnic demographics?

Have we failed in something profound so that John Locke’s optimism about human nature is being eclipsed by the pessimism of Thomas Hobbes and Sigmund Freud that society is only a veneer of repression of the urge to engage willingly in a war of all against all?

Here are some thoughts of Thomas Paine when the country was founded:

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
– The American Crisis

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
– A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North America

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”
– The American Crisis

“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.”
– Rights of Man

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
– The American Crisis

Please join us at 9:00 am on Friday, July 31, on Zoom to discuss the crisis we face.

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Space is limited to 25 attendees.

Policing as a Public Trust Workshop – Friday, July 17

Register today.

We are challenged, not only in Minneapolis, but in Atlanta and elsewhere, to set appropriate expectations for our police officers. The challenge implicates virtue, ethics and morality at the level of organizations and individuals – topics of interest to the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT).

Some years ago, we provided ethical principles for government, specifically the principle that public office is a public trust. This is the principle long since applied in British constitutional practice. This standard would encompass policing.

Most likely not by coincidence, in 1829, Sir Robert Peel promulgated 9 ethical principles to govern the mission and behaviors of the new police force in London. His principles apply the standard of public trust to the relationship of the police to the community.

Separately, we have tried to draw attention to virtue and good character as the foundation for responsibility in the use of power. The then Sheriff of Ramsey Country, Matt Bostrom, advocated the practice of community policing to great success. Matt was a member of our council on character formed to promote character education in public education. John Harrington, when Chief of Police in St. Paul, and now Commissioner of Public Safety, also promoted community policing in his department.

Matt is now working on a Ph.D. at Oxford University on community policing and hiring for character to recruit the most qualified individuals for that approach to policing. Matt has conducted a number of focus groups to elicit community opinion on those character traits of sworn officers most influential in obtaining community trust in its police.

Given current demands for reform of policing, even “defunding” the Minneapolis Police Department, the CRT will convene a workshop on policing as a public trust, including a presentation of his research findings by former Sheriff Bostrom.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, July 17 at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. Social distancing will be observed and participation will be limited to 25 participants. A box lunch will be provided. The fee for attendance is $25. Register here.

Please Join Us June 12 for Our First International Zoom Round Table

At 9:00 am (CST) on Friday June 12, the day before the Ides of June, we will be having our first international round table over Zoom and you are invited to join us.

I suggest discussing the topic of lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic to date on moral responsibility for business and government.

From recent Zoom meetings, I expect a high quality discussion from our participants. Certainly, the times have given us enough to think about and to offer in response our best suggestions for constructive action.

Space is limited to 25 attendees.

Please RSVP your interest in participating with Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Additional information will be provided to registrants shortly before the event.

Please Join Us on Zoom This Friday to Discuss the Coronavirus

Next Friday, the Ides of May, we will be having our first round table over Zoom beginning at 9:00 am.

I suggest discussing the topic of risk and personal responsibility as we plan to re-balance the economy and protection of the vulnerable against the coronavirus.

My thoughts on procedure are:

1) Those who would like to participate register their intention with Jed.

2) We will close participation at 25. If more are interested, we will convene a second session.

3) I most likely will be host. Participants will stay on mute until recognized. I will keep a list of people in the queue as usual by noting who raises their hand on the screen or who send me a note on the chat function that they would like to contribute. Participants should signal a one-finger or a two-finger intervention as usual.

From recent Zoom meetings, I expect a high quality discussion from our participants. Certainly, the times have given us enough to think about and to offer in response our best suggestions for constructive action.

Please RSVP your interest in participation with Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net

Public Office as a Public Trust – A Workshop on the Ethics of Public Stewardship – Friday, April 10th

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

We’re delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am Friday, April 10th, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

  1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization
  2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage
  3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice
  4. CRT Principles for Government
  5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director of the CRT and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Congressman Dean Phillips will tentatively be joining us for lunch to speak about the Problem Solvers Caucus which he is an active member of.

Tuition is $50 per person (does not include cost of lunch).

To register, please click here.

Space is limited.

The CRT is an international network of senior leaders from business, government, academia and non-profit institutions who work together to improve private enterprise and public governance around the world.

For additional information, please visit: www.cauxroundtable.org