10 August 2010
70. The Five Thousand Year Leap
Published in 1981. This one could not possibly be any kind of attack on current government problems. Boy, was I wrong. This millenium has been very bad for our Constitution, but the last one was not all milk and honey either. This book does not attack anything. It simply explains how things were supposed to be done using references to writings and historical documents.
I loved this book. It is all about the founding of our country and the ideas and principles behind its design.
I found the book fascinating and it made me want to look further into some of its claims. I found them to be accurate when I did actually follow through on some that I really wondered about.
Part 1 of the book covers how the structure of our government was created. How it was not created out of thin air, but was a conglomeration of many ideas from the past.
Our law has similatities with Anglo-Saxon common law and with the people's law of Ancient Israel.
It covers how the first "constitution" (The Articles of Cenfederacy) were too close to anarchy. Everyone got back together at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to create the Constitution that we use today.
It covers how the founders combined ideas from people like Polybius, John Locke and Baron Charles de Montesquieu when creating the three branches of government and how they all interact with each other through checks and balances.
The author used an analogy that I found quite interesting. He was trying to show how our government is supposed to remain centrist. They used the symbol for America, the bald eagle, in the example. We all know we have left and right influences within politics. Lets say those are the real left and right wings of the eagle. Left and right together make the eagle fly. If one wing overpowers the other then the eagle will no longer be able to soar. Needless to say, I severely simplified this section of the book.
From there the author went into 28 sections that he called principles. These were the building blocks used by the founders to create the United States of America.
They included chapters called:
a. The Genius of Natural Law
b. The Role of Religion
c. The Role of the Creator
d. All Men Are Created Equal
e. Equal Rights, Not Equal Things
f. Man's Unalienable Rights
g. Soveriegnty of the People
h. Advantages of a Republic
i. Protection Against Human Frailty
j. Property Rights Essential to Liberty
k. Majority Rule, Minority Rights
l. Government by Law, Not Men
m. Importance of an Educated Electorate
n. Avoiding the Burden of Debt
and many more. They were all quite interesting.