The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that there are many principles needed to have true liberty. In order for us to be truly free we must be obedient to most if not all of the principles involved in having real liberty. These principles come from God and were known by previous generations, including the Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Israel. The Founders knew of the laws because they were avid students of history and the Bible. What they did not already know came through inspiration from God.
W. Cleon Skousen wrote a book about many of liberty principles. His book is entitled The Five Thousand Year Leap – 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World. He discusses the 28 principles in depth in chapters with the following titles: (1) The Genius of Natural Law, (2) A Virtuous and Moral People, (3) Virtuous and Moral Leaders, (4) The Role of Religion, (5) The Role of the Creator, (6) All Men Are Created Equal, (7) Equal Rights, Not Equal Things, (8) Man’s Unalienable Rights, (9) The Role of Revealed Law, (10) Sovereignty of the People, (11) Who Can Alter the Government? (12) Advantages of a Republic, (13) Protection Against Human Frailty, (14) Property Rights Essential to Liberty, (15) Free-market Economics, (16) The Separation of Powers, (17) Checks and Balances, (18) Importance of a Written Constitution, (19) Limiting and Defining the Power of Government, (20) Majority Rule, Minority Rights, (21) Strong Local Self-government, (22) Government by Law, Not by Men, (23) Importance of an Educated Electorate, (24) Peace Through Strength, (25) Avoid Entangling Alliances, (26) Protecting the Role of the Family, (27) Avoiding the Burden of Debt, and (28) The Founders’ Sense of Manifest Destiny.
In his Preface to his book, Skousen discussed how the book was the fulfillment of a long-time dream for him – “a dream gestated over forty years ago.” “As I studied Constitutional law, there was always a nagging curiosity as to why someone had not taken the time and trouble to catalogue the ingredients of the Founding Fathers’ phenomenal success formula so it would be less complex and easier to digest. It seemed incredible that these gems of political sagacity had to be dug out of obscurity by each individual doing it piecemeal and never really knowing for certain that the whole puzzle had been completely assemble….
“Eventually, circumstances were such that this writer overcame a prevailing sense of apprehension and undertook the task of trying to do something along these lines just as a matter of personal insight….
“It may appear to some to be a very modest contribution, but it has been a monumental satisfaction to the author. Never before have I fully appreciated the intellectual muscle and the quantum of solid character required to produce the first modern republic. I have gained a warm affection for the Founders. I have learned to see them as men imbued with all of our common weaknesses called `human nature,’ and yet capable of becoming victorious at a task which would have decimated weaker men. I have learned to glory in their successes and have felt an overtone of personal sorrow when they seemed to attain less than they had hoped. It has been a marvelous adventure in research to perceive the ramifications of the Founders’ formula for a model commonwealth of freedom and prosperity which became the United States of America….”
Skousen includes many quotes from time of the Founders and the Founders themselves. Reading his book helped me to learn a little more about the men who founded America and the principles upon which they founded it. I believe these principles are absolutely necessary for freedom and liberty. I also believe the populace will never appreciate the principles of liberty discussed until they are willing to study them in depth. The Five Thousand Year Leap is a great way to start your study because it forms a foundation for understanding other works. I encourage you to read it, study it in depth, and then use it as a reference in your other studies. My copy of the book is always close at hand, and I hope your copy will be also. We must know the principles of liberty if we are to remain truly free.