The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation is dedicated to achieving positive social change by shining the light of truth on critical and controversial issues. It pursues this mission through the support of scholarly studies, education, research, and public debate, and by the dissemination of the results via a variety of media to all segments of the public.
MY PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEFS REGARDING THE FOUNDATION’S PURPOSE
by ARTHUR N. RUPE, Founder, Endower, Chairman
I am fortunate to have been born and raised in the United States of America. This nation has given me the opportunity to benefit from a good education and economic freedom to achieve success in my work endeavors. As a corollary to this liberty, I’ve experienced happiness, security, and self-satisfaction throughout my life.
I, and every citizen of this country, owe inestimable gratitude to our nation’s founders. They formed a government rooted in their observations and understanding of the universal nature of man. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights reveal their timeless observations. The “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” we are free to enjoy reflects our founders’ perceptive insights. Our constitutional republic is intended to guarantee our mutual protection from the foibles of man and from the private and public organizations we would inevitably create. Our representative form of government at the federal, state, and local levels legislate laws, collect taxes, grant privileges, allocate benefits, and modify personal behaviors. All of this is done, presumably, for the common benefit of our entire society.
Nevertheless, as our population grows and becomes incrementally diverse and increasingly more complicated, the size and scope of government has grown at every level. One of the consequences of this growth is that politically well-connected individuals and interest groups wield inordinate political power – through lobbying and other means – to further their respective singular interests. Because of this, our government has swelled into a web of complicated regulations, laws, and rules, particularly at the federal level. In many instances, this cornucopia of regulations, laws, and rules has resulted in a diminution of our personal liberties and freedom of choices. It has also seriously limited free markets. In short, the growth of government at every level has eroded considerably the principles that have heretofore provided America with the highest standard of living the world has known to date.
Furthermore, in order to win elections, politicians frequently make deceptive statements and false promises to reflect the public’s perceived wishes. They offer solutions for societal issues in order to appeal to the greatest number of voters, even if such solutions are hopelessly impractical or contrary to individual liberty. All too frequently, the false statements and solutions made by many office seekers are also proffered, aided, and abetted by complicit, misinformed, and/or agenda-driven opinion shapers, some of whom may be well-intentioned, including the media, educators, activists, unions, clergy, and others. As a result, what the public frequently receives is information filtered through individual bias, self-interest, or ignorance. Thus, a beguiled public is hoodwinked by charismatic leaders and led to assumptions, false beliefs, and actions contrary to their wishes, understanding and welfare. The consequence of this influence is neither in society’s interest nor in the service of our constitutional republic.
In this way, truth is distorted and false statement or misrepresentation take on lives of their own. This frequently results in government policy that benefits one group or industry over another. Government solutions to the public’s needs and wants via laws and regulations often create new and unintended consequences, which over time should be, but rarely are, re-addressed, modified, or terminated. And, the acts of government thus become even more complex and the antithesis of our core values.
The ANRF, through its work, aspires to become an antidote to an uninformed public whose ignorance is so frequently exploited. The ANRF believes that an educated and informed public would not only demand the truth, but also would participate in supporting leaders who espoused the principles of individual responsibility, personal liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom. As such, the ANRF aims to improve education at all levels, support authentic debate where all aspects of issues are revealed in a balanced exploration of the facts, and support research and scholarly studies that can achieve broad public dissemination.
FOUNDER’S PURPOSE AND INTENT
In founding and funding the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, I am endeavoring to employ our limited resources to perpetuate for posterity the guiding principles of our Founder’s libertarian philosophy: limited government, free market capitalism, individual responsibility, and the rule of law. Along with like-minded citizens and other philanthropic organizations, we can hopefully stem the accelerating tide of public policies that threaten the life of our personal liberties, freedom of choice, free enterprise, and traditional family values that have resulted in the beneficial culture these virtues have created. My basic philosophy, core values, and life principles are the wellspring of the ANRF’s goals, and should be the beacon that guides and favors all our grants.
Specifically, I firmly believe in libertarian principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, private enterprise, equal opportunity, and fair treatment for all. I believe the government’s sole purpose is to serve the will of the people, to function only in those areas provided for by the Constitution, and to provide goods and services only where the marketplace cannot. Further, government’s role is to provide domestic and foreign security, to referee and adjudicate disputes with fairness, absence of bias, and dispassion. I further believe that each of us individually has a responsibility to address the needs of those who, for no fault of their own, cannot care for themselves. Above all, the integrity of individual freedom and equal opportunity must always remain the keystone of America’s constitutional form of government.
I feel very strongly that a foundation should remain true to its founder’s and funder’s intentions and objectives. It is wrong for a foundation to move in a direction contrary to its founder’s intentions, and I hope that the ANRF shall always function strictly in the spirit that I intended, as expressed in this document and consistent with the giving history of the foundation that I established in my lifetime.