|May 11, 2005 4:30 am
||The Agathon Project
| Edward Pittman
As mentioned on previous occasions in this forum, the Agathon Project is a charitable project launched by members of the Promethean Movement. Well, it now exists as a legal entity and is ready to begin work. I am posting a description of its work below as an introduction.
The incorporation process has been relatively costly and we have not yet held any fundraisers. So, obviously, we need contributions to begin work. If the description of the Agathon Project's purpose and mission given below resonates with you, I ask that you please help. I have just created an e-gold account for the Agathon Project and its number is:
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
THE AGATHON PROJECT: Purpose and Mission
The word "Agathon" means "The Good" in the ultimate, essential sense. The Agathon Project has been created to foster and cultivate this Good, which we have determined to be the advancement of the quality of Individual Life. This aim will be realized in the world by the direction of attention and resources to key areas as specified in our Mission Statement:
The mission of the Agathon Project is to promote the mentoring of youth, the creation of prosperity and the stewardship of the environment by identifying, acknowledging and funding productive efforts rooted in the principle of Individual Sovereignty.
The foundation of Agathon is clarified and strengthened by the following comments on some terms and phrases from the Mission Statement:
The Agathon Project's guiding principle of Individual Sovereignty asserts the primacy of the Individual as the essential and paramount unit of society, whose well-being and advantage is an end in itself. The Individual is the touchstone and the aim is to benefit the real lives of real Individuals in ways most compatible with the principle of Individual Sovereignty. Individual Sovereignty is expressed through Self-ownership, Self-determinism and Self-reliance.
Special mention should be made concerning the phrase "productive efforts." It refers to efforts that produce concrete results. This means a recognizable difference in the life of a young Individual, the creation of quantifiable wealth for identifiable Individuals or tangible conservation or improvement of environmental quality. Education is important and can often be an absolutely crucial first step in an area of work. Especially if it concerns an approach that is new or not well understood. The Agathon Project will, of course, support and assist such education. However, our main orientation will always to be toward ACTION that produces results that can be SEEN and TOUCHED.
The Agathon Project is thus a vehicle for the translation of essential ideas into practical results. This work is focused along three specific lines: mentoring youth, creating prosperity and stewarding the environment.
Mentoring is to act in the role of a trusted counselor or teacher. Our concept of mentorship is comprehensive. It is aimed at providing youth with the knowledge and character to become sovereign and empowered adults.This includes one-on-one personal and occupational mentoring but also the establishment of schools, training centers and general programs of all kinds that will contribute to that goal, as well as supporting scholarships that allow more young Individuals to gain access to these opportunities.
Consider what one truly sovereign and empowered Individual is capable of over the course of a lifetime, what he or she might accomplish. Consider a hundred, or a thousand, or a million or even a billion such Individuals. Imagine the future that they could build and the quality of life that they could share and enjoy. That is what this work is about and it begins now with mentoring youth.
By creating prosperity, we mean the creation of real, new wealth and the development of economies. This is to be achieved by focusing on Self-reliance and Entrepreneurship.
To explain what we mean, one particular and excellent example of productive effort in this area is the use of microloans. If you are unfamiliar with them, microloans are very small loans made to entrepreneurs in desparate financial need. These loans might be for only $100...or even less...but are business capital to Individuals in poor areas. This capital may be used to buy something as simple as a cart or even a pair of scissors. These simple tools can transform the needy into entrepreneurs that can raise their own standard of living and contribute to the growth of the local economy. It may seem amazing to us, but such small loans can actually create businesses that allow their owners to buy homes and educate their children, starting off a new generation with a raised quality of life. This is something that the Agathon Project is very intent on and excited about contributing to.
STEWARDING THE ENVIRONMENT
In the role of stewardship, the focus is on private conservation and market solutions to environmental issues. Our primary interest is in avoiding and reversing what is commonly known as the "Tragedy of the Commons."
This phrase, "Tragedy of the Commons," originally referred to the English Commons, plots of grassland used for grazing that were shared by all of the livestock farmers of a village. This led in time to overgrazing as each sought to get the most out of the "free" resource. The phrase is now used to refer to the general overexploitation of any "public" good by "free-riders" who use the resource at no personal cost. Essentially, plunder. Historically, it is unsurprising that private responsibility for a resource has generally resulted in better, more far-sighted management of that resource.
Our efforts in this area, then, involve promoting private, market solutions to issues of environmental quality. Of course, many of these solutions will be provided by commercial interests and will not be suitable for charitable funding. However, it certainly falls within the mission of the Agathon Project to give acknowledgment and recognition to the outstanding innovators in this emerging approach to environmental stewardship. One example of how our own efforts may be more directly applied is in the establishment of land trusts. For those who might be unfamiliar with the concept, a land trust purchases or accepts donated land for preservation. Land trusts can also accept conservation easements. A conservation easement is an agreement which allows the land to remain privately owned while placing limitations on its development. Landowners can receive tax deductions for the gift of conservation easements. This is another area that the Agathon Project is very interested in contributing to.
And so, this is our work.
The proliferation of The Good will increase dramatically as efforts in these three areas produce results that overlap and synergize with each other. For now, we will leave specific visions of such a future as an exercise for your own imagination. The more unique imaginations that we employ in this endeavor, the richer the future that we can envision. And the sooner that we put those imaginations to work (as in, starting right now), the sooner that future will become the present.
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