Suzanne's Reviews > The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World

The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
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Mar 12, 10

Recommended for: everyone
Read in September, 2009

If you believe in the principles of freedom that America stands for than you will appreciate this book. I know that because of human nature there is no perfect society and that men are fallible. That is exactly what the founders believed also. So they did their best to set up a system of laws and government to try to put in check the evil designs of men and the weakness’s of human nature. We have faltered much along the way, not because of the weakness of the constitution but because of the weakness of men. The “Utopian dream will never be possible in view of the obvious limitations of human nature”.

This book names 28 “principles of freedom” that the founders believed and used to form America. It is non-partisan. It explains how the founders measured the political spectrum from Ruler’s Law (far left) to No Law (far right). And they believed that the key was in the balanced center of People’s Law. This book is also a powerful argument against socialism and clearly illustrates how socialism and all of its forms are unconstitutional.

The name of the book reflects the fact that these freedoms created an environment for which we have progressed greatly in technology, science, living standards, etc: more in the last 200 years than in the first 5,000 of recorded history. It makes the point that mankind can progress when the shackles of bondage are broken and an atmosphere of freedom abounds.

So what are some of those principles? Well the first five or so principles were religiously/morally based. Basically, a belief in God and of Natural Law. i.e. Our rights are God-given - "we hold these truths to be self evident...that men are endowed by their creator". That legislation in violation to God’s natural law is a scourge to humanity. Also, that a virtuous and moral people and leaders are necessary for a strong society. A quote from James Madison said, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.”

To make his points, the author quotes many of the founders and also the works that the founders studied such as Cicero and John Locke. I don’t have a naive view that these men were perfect but I do believe that they were educated and inspired at the right time in history to bring about this miracle of a nation.

Other “principles of freedom” espoused in the book include:
* “The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things”. (This chapter includes a lesson from communism)
* “The United States of America shall be a Republic” (Explains the misconceptions about democracy)
* “A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers”.
*“The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations”
*”Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with ALL Nations – entangling alliances with none”
*And of course the lesson so needed today: “The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest”
*And my personal favorite! “Life and Liberty are Secure Only so Long as the Right to PROPERTY is Secure”!

All in all, I learned a lot, gained some good tidbits from history, and enjoyed the many wonderful quotes. Read this book! But be forewarned that it may leave you a bit disillusioned at how far from the constitution we have strayed. Nonetheless these principles need to be taught for us to get back on the right track and I WISH every voting American would read this book.
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