Western civilization owes a debt to the Greek culture. I owe Orrin Woodward and the LIFE business my gratitude for learning about those great traditions like Greece that led to the concepts of freedom and liberty. Once Greece was a land of heroes and philosophers that left us a heritage of art, culture, democracy, and warriors. Greece now stands in bankruptcy, hoping for more European bale out’s. Greece has fallen pray to the attractive policies of trickle down government programs. Once Greece was a proud nation. Now they survive only from hand - outs because of the collapse of their socialist policies. The Founders of our country believed that the United States would suffer the same fate as the Greeks who lost their liberty from the loss of the principles that govern a free nation if we lost track of those principles.
Athens was credited with visual art, architecture, theater, philosophy, and democratic politics. Sparta left enduring traditions such as duty, discipline, sacrifice, and triumph of will over obstacles. The cycle of democracy swung from courage and abundance to dependency and bondage when the Spartans installed a puppet oligarchy throughout former Athens and other Greek states after the Peloponnesian war. The decline of Greece continued as the Macedonians rose to power. The Macedon Monarchy ultimately led to Alexander the Great. As the power of Macedon grew the Monarchy took over rule of Greece. The Founders learned these stories from the classics and the writings of Plutarch and Polybius.
The Founders tried to imprint the need for the classics because of the lessons they provided. Their theory was that there were always talented and ambitious people plotting against liberty. In 1808 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Tacitus I consider the first writer in the world without a single exception. His book is a compound of history and morality of which we have no other example.” Wow, no other example! What is to happen to us with these examples taken from our school curriculums and therefore our knowledge? The original ‘grammar’ in ‘grammar school’ referred to Greek and Latin. Teachers taught subjects like the classical languages. They concentrated on the writings of Cicero, Virgil, Homer, and the Greek New Testament. As Noah Webster put it, “The minds of youth are perpetually led to the history of Greece and Rome or to Great Britain.” The early colonial colleges typically required at least three years of Greek and Latin.
Today, as the United States learns the art of voting in special benefits and deals as it leans over the precipice following the footsteps of a modern day bankrupt Greece. It will take courage to stand against the long - term implications of voting for trickle down government. Former head of the Government Accounting David Walker wrote, “The sum of all benefits, programs, debt payments, and other expenses in the United States has grown from $20.4 trillion to $56.4 trillion – a 176 % increase.” As Livy wrote, “The study of History is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings, fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid.” Which part of Greek history do you want to repeat? God Bless, George Guzzardo