This week marks the fourth anniversary of Front Porch Republic. I recently looked back through these first four years and was struck by the wonderful group of writers who have gravitated to FPR along with the incredible number of essays we’ve published. I continue to be gratified by the serious and respectful tone that characterizes the comments. We’ve got great readers.

Our desire to promote the ideals of place, limits, and liberty through fostering political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism has touched a nerve. We have been praised in the pages of The New York Times and The New Republic, and we’ve have been dismissed as hopeless romantics (or worse!) by others.

Nevertheless, we remain convinced that human apprehension of the true, the good, and the beautiful through the cultivation of virtue is best realized within a dense web of meaningful family, neighborhood, and community relationships. For decades, if not centuries, a powerful and ever-growing centralized state, along with the cultural and economic institutions with which it exists in a mutually reinforcing network, has eroded these vitally important relationships—and diminished human liberty, community, and happiness as a result.

We believe that we are in the beginning stages of a “new traditionalist” moment that will help revitalize American discourse and community and civic life by reclaiming important aspects of the Western tradition long ignored—or detested—by most Western elites. Even though much in the news suggests that ours is a badly damaged republic, there are hopeful signs. It is our intent to highlight and nurture these good things as we seek to champion human scale, the “little platoons,” respect for the natural world, and reverence to God.

For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, thank you. You have helped make FPR what it is today. For those of you just discovering us, we invite you to pull up a chair on the porch, sit a while, and enjoy the conversation. We’re glad to have you.

Mark T. Mitchell
Front Porch Republic



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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.


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