Looking at LIFE inside the Western world today, we can easily take our freedom for granted. The west has experienced a couple of hundred years of the freedoms that come with democracy. The United States is the oldest democratic republic, just a little over two hundred years. It may be easy to think that this is the way it always was. Most countries throughout the world currently don’t have the freedoms that we in the West are taking for granted. It appears that apathy and dependency are creeping in as recent generations have not realized that the liberties that come from freedom have only been short lived throughout the civilization of mankind. In reality, mankind has always been in a struggle to be free.
Without a review of history on a regular basis, we tend to forget that the principles of freedom were earned with blood, sweat, and tears. The foundations of freedom seem lost from an over abundance of information technology, an over informed public, and the war for more rights and less knowledge of our duties. We are becoming progressively ignorant of the principles of freedom. Studying history reveals that freedom has always been controlled by an elite or by those who were obsessed with power.
A mere eight hundred years ago, the Mongols arrived at the gates of Vienna. Historian Will Durant said, “Never in history had there been so extensive a devastation – from the Pacific ocean to the Adriatic and the Baltic seas.” This is another thin thread along the course of the history of freedom. Ghengis Khan had conquered the Muslims of Bagdad in 1258, Damascus and Cairo, and the Sung Dynasty of southern Asia. Moscow and Kiev were utterly destroyed. Eastern Europe became a Mongolian state. As many as one hundred thousand soldiers were lost in Hungary and Poland. Only the timely death of Ghengis Khan and eventually his son Ogadai ultimately saved Christianity and Europe.
In the book ‘Tipping Point’, authors Chris and Ted Stewart ask, “What would have happened to the emerging values of Western culture – including the ideas of freedom and capitalism, which were in their infant stage of development – if the Mongols had invaded?” “There would have been no emerging financial centers, no growing wool centers, both of which proved vital to the emergence of capitalism. The role of Paris in developing the West would have been aborted, its great universities ruined, those test beds of innovation and discovery would not have survived. The embryonic notions regarding representative government left over from the Roman and Greek empires would have disappeared in the fog of history.”
One might think, “That could not happen in today’s world.” I would agree that the odds of one hundred thousand sword wielding horseman stampeding through Arizona is slim. But don’t forget, the Europeans didn’t expect the Mongols to show up in Vienna. The war against freedom will be more subtle. Like a frog slowly coming to a boil in a pot unaware of impending disaster, we are developing a progressive amnesia about the history and principles of freedom. Principles will be gradually changed. Make no mistake the forces against freedom will always be there. The fight for control through power and disinformation will be like the Mongols at the gate. Unsuspecting citizens who fail to be vigilant might one day look up and see a horde of a different kind. We are fortunate to have the freedom’s we experience today. If we don't pay attention to what has happened historically, things could change. We need to take the opportunity to learn and apply the principles learned from the struggle for freedom. We stand on the knowledge of those who fought for our freedoms not just with armies but with enduring principles. That opportunity is found in today's LIFE. God Bless, George Guzzardo