My association with Orrin Woodward and the LIFE business has brought out a striking revelation that our school curriculums no longer teach pertinent history to our culture. Just try to have an educated discussion with most people. They have no interest in the subject because they cannot connect the relevance to our modern times or we have been sold a premise that the foundational principles do not apply in the age of relativism. Is this a deliberate attempt to up root our culture? In the past, many Americans were well versed in republican (separation of power) principles. In the past, College graduates had studied the history of the ancient republics, with a particular view toward the causes of their declines.
The Founding Patriots turned to John Locke's writings about natural – law. John Locke wrote ‘Two Treatises of Government' published in 1690 that has been through about a hundred printings in at least fourteen languages. His main premise was that man lives under Natural Law and Liberty is interrelated with Private Property. He felt that man is obliged by nature to live in society. His first principle was clear when he wrote, “God having made Man such a Creature that, in his own Judgment, it was not good for him to be alone.” His second principle was that every man has property, which are his own person and his work. “As much as man tills. plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his Property. “God has given us all things richly.” Cato wrote, “To live securely, happily, and independently is the end and effect of Liberty… and real or fancied necessity alone makes Men the Servants, Followers, and Creatures of one another. And therefore… Property is the best Support of Independency so passionately desired by all Men.” A combination of these values has led to our current state as a free and prosperous nation. But, watching the current economic indicators, how long will our freedom last?
Thomas Jefferson warned, “When all Government, domestic and foreign, in little and great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one Government to another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” With the lack of understanding it appears that the people are being drawn to Washington for answers. Most of the Founders being self - educated in History warned of the implications of our ignorance to those principles that our country was founded on. The Framers of our Constitution were well versed in the history of ancient Greece and Rome, of confederations and republics. Their sense was that history was legacy. They looked at experience as their only guide. I often wonder how those men were so wise and knowledgeable and we with our extensive school system have no awareness of these timeless treasures. Professor David Lutz and Professor Charles Hyneman studied the intellectual influences of the American Founding by reviewing 15,000 items from books, pamphlets, and newspaper articles written be the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Their references included: 34% from the Bible, 22% from Montesquieu, Locke and Hume, 18% from Bollingbrooke, Milton, and Sydney, 11% from Blackstone (British Common Law), and 8% from the classics that included Plutarch, Cicero, Aristotle, and Plato.
Today, it appears that Government is used as a problem solving device, rightfully so since we have not been taught the lessons of the past. When did we lose ownership of the words opportunity, responsibility and work ethic? We can learn from Theodore Roosevelt who said, “The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.” Pick up a copy of ‘Leadership and Liberty’ from best selling authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady and let your journey toward understanding Historical principles begin. God Bless George Guzzardo