“We the People…”

"Going West on the Old Santa Fe Trail." Bronze Sculpture by Kwan Wu. Photo by Karen Kaffenberger.A historical journey through the American experience of being a people, with music, readings, and images, featuring Tony HENDRA, writer and author, and David HOROWITZ, musician and composer.

The evening will retrace, through speeches and songs, some pivotal moments of our past and recent history, when our common ideals took shape and were strengthened.

“First, the life of a people is determined by a common ideal, by a value that makes it worthwhile living, struggling, suffering and even dying for, a common ideal that makes everything worthwhile. Second, the life of a people is determined by the identification of the suitable instruments and the methods for attaining the recognized ideal, for tackling the needs and challenges that gradually arise from the historical circumstances. Third, it is determined by the mutual fidelity in which one helps the other on the journey towards the realization of the ideal. A people exists where there is the memory of a common history that is accepted as a historic task to be carried out. This expresses itself ultimately in the people's charity, which has each one carry the other's weight. In this sense, the “we" enters into the definition of the self. It is the people that defines the self's destiny, its operative capacity and affective (and therefore fertile and creative) genius. If the people's "we" enters into the definition of the "I" then the "I" reaches its greatest maturity, as recognition of his/her personal destiny and as his/her overall affectivity, identifying himself/herself with the life and ideal of the people. Therefore, without friendship, that is to say, without gratuitous mutual affirmation of a common destiny, there is no people.”

(Luigi Giussani, Generating traces in the History of the World, McGill)