Degree XI — Questions

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Degree XI Lecture

"He [the Mason] labours equally to defend and to improve the People. He does not flatter them to mislead them, nor fawn upon them to rule them, nor conceal his opinions to humour them, nor tell them that they can never err, and that their voice is the voice of God. He knows that the safety of every free government, and its continuance and perpetuity, depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the common People: and that, unless their liberty is of such a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away; unless it is the fruit of piety, of justice, of temperance, and unadulterated virtue; unless, being such, it has taken deep root in the minds and hearts of the people at large; there will not long be wanting those who will snatch from them by treachery what they have acquired by arms." — Albert Pike.

1. What functions should be the exclusive responsibility of national and/or local government? What functions could be discharged and services provided as well, or better, by independent business and/or voluntary organisations such as Freemasonry? Give your reasons.

2. In the section headed "Political Economy", Pike describes what he considers to be the most pressing problem confronting the United States of America in about 1850. Has the problem been solved or ameliorated? Have the principles of Masonry made a significant contribution to progress? To what extent have these principles actually been put into practice?

3. How have changes in the political economy of the United States affected the rest of the world?

4. What do you consider to be the most pressing current problem confronting the world? How could the principles of Masonry contribute to its solution?

5. Consider whether any politico-economic problem can be solved without the active participation and example of individuals who accept total responsibility for governing themselves and who are committed to serving their fellows, whether or not they are Freemasons or are in involved in government or business.