Some books to get you started

Many of you are here now because you just listened to the podcast I posted today. In that podcast, I promised you a list of books that I thought would really benefit anyone out there with even the slightest interest in understanding where I was coming from in the podcast.

For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about, I posted a podcast in which I discussed what I thought we should be doing as a nation. Sort of a ‘Rebel Manifesto’ if you will. Let me encourage you to take a listen to it.

My real hope is that we can get a dialog going. There are so many things that seem to be off the rails in our current political system and as citizens, we should all be willing to step up and share our thoughts.

First I want to point out what I think is the best place to start. There are dozens of volumes out there on our country and what the founding fathers intended. So much of what we think we know today is actually the result of lots of folks trying to skew the facts one direction or another. As I always like to do, I encourage you to find the facts and decide for yourself.

So where is the best place to start? I believe it is with a book called “The 5000 Year Leap”. No matter where you are right now, this is an ideal book to begin your understanding of our nation and just how amazing our founders were in their ability to create a nation that understands human nature and strikes a balance between our good and not so good inclinations. If you have read tons of books on our history as I have, you will find this book ties a whole lot together for you. If you have never read anything on the subject, “The 5000 Year Leap” is going to be an eye opening foundation for you. Even better, the book references all its source material, so if you disagree with the author at any point, you can dig up the original primary source they drew their conclusions from and form your own opinion.

I only bought this book a little over a week ago, and I have already read through it twice. You owe it to yourself to read this book.

So here is my suggested reading list, I hope it helps:

  1. The 5000 Year Leap“, by W. Cleon Skousen (This is the place to start. It is available in a variety of ways – from the kindle all the way down to an Audio CD)
  2. Common Sense“, by Thomas Paine
  3. The Federalist Papers“, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, etc..
  4. Founding Brothers“, by Joseph J. Ellis
  5. FDR’s Folly“, by Jim Powell (This one will amaze you. Despite having been written in 2003-2004, the similarity between the crazy things done in the depression and what is going on now will startle you)
  6. Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition“, by Milton Friedman. (In addition to being a brilliant economist and Nobel prize winner, he is also an amazing author who manages to make the topic of economics interesting. This is a short volume, worth your time)

I would say that is a good place to start your self education. If that list seems a bit too much for you, just read “The 5000 Year Leap”. If you are willing to take on one more, I think I would go with item 6, “Capitalism and Freedom”. Both of those are very quick reads that deliver far more than their size would suggest.

I want to encourage you to discuss the topics covered in todays podcast. If you would rather talk about it in a more forum like format, please feel free to do so on my new forum at my real estate site.

Comments

Posted On
Jun 05, 2010
Posted By
The Glenn Beck Review

What do you know about the man behind the lists and the books? I have an expose about Skousen on my home page all weekend. Can you handle the truth?

Posted On
Jun 06, 2010
Posted By
The Rebel Broker

The truth is all I am interested in. Sadly, many of the folks throwing stones on this one do not seem to be. There are plenty of strange things in Skousens past to raise an eyebrow. However, The 5,000 year leap is still an excellent book. I hear folks discuss Skousen in terms of his book “The Making Of America” “bursting” with errors. However, the only error anyone seems to mention is a comment made relating to slavery. I would LOVE to see someone put out an actual listing of the errors in that work instead of simply claiming there are so many. However, for the purposes of my suggested reading list, I do not include “The Making Of America”, but stand by the suggestion that folks read “The Five Thousand Year Leap”. You don’t have to believe with all his points to get a lot out of the work. In fact, I found it to be a great jumping off point for my own research. Here are the main points of 5k for those who have not read it (From Wiki):

1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is natural law.
2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.
3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous a morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.
4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent and to him they are equally responsible.
6. All men are created equal.
7. The proper role of government is to provide equal rights, not equal things.
8. Men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
9. To protect man’s rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.
10. The god-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.
11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.
12. The United States of America shall be a republic.
13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers.
14. Life and liberty is secure so long as the right to property is secure.
15. The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and minimum of government regulations.
16. The government should be separated into three branches–legislative, executive and judicial.
17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.
18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution.
19. Only limited amd carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people.
20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
21. Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of man.
23. A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.
24. A free people will not survive unless they remain strong.
25. Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations–entangling alliances with none.
26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.
27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.
28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.

Each of those points is explored in The 5k leap. Do any of these points seem crazy to you? Even if we can completely condemn the man for some other reason, does that mean that we can then condemn the work? Even if we can verify all of the facts he presents? To be honest, I could not care less about the man. I care about the work, what it can teach us and how it might help others take a closer look and interest in our system.

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