[Northkeep] Question for the B&B candidates

STEVEN RUARK DHSPA5F at dhs.state.il.us
Tue Aug 7 10:31:47 PDT 2001

It was good seeing so many of you Saturday night.  I hope I can again soon.

   Five years ago, when we prepared for the elevation and chose from among ourselves two to represent us as required by the structure of the Society, we worried about how our culture would change, whether while paying lip service to the notion of landed nobility we could retain the feelings of cameraderie, of equality and fraternity that had made Northkeep strong, made it the greatest shire in Ansteorra. Or whether we would be swept into the culture of class and privelege and rank we saw elsewhere.  We determined that--whoever ended up as our spokesmen, our representatives, our titled heads--we WOULD keep that part of our culture, and use it to make ourselves the greatest BARONY in the kingdom as well.

   Now, five years later, it is appropriate to reexamine that attitude, that determination, and how well it worked out.  Maybe we lived up to it, and it led us to preeminence in the North.  Maybe it was naive, an ignorant, provincial attitude that could not survive The Way Things Are in the Real World.  Or maybe we grew confused and a little lost, and while we have the opportunity we should take a look at ourselves, and make sure we are being TRUE to ourselves.

   I said a while back--in response to a statement that the Society is not a democracy--that I knew Democracy (unlike Truth, Honor, Justice and Chivalry) was not an Ideal of the Society.  And I said we could discuss later whether it was an Ideal of Northkeep.  It's later.

   Ultimately, WE define our culture, no one else.  We do it in how we treat each other, and how we treat visitors at our door--whatever their station, title, or rank--and how we treat those WE visit when we are elsewhere.  So my question, to those who would lead us and guide the path our culture takes from this point, is simple:  Is Democracy, or more properly, are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, Ideals of Northkeep?  Were they before?  Should they be?


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