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It’s Time for Optimism and Leadership

January 10th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

visionary 300x199 Its Time for Optimism and LeadershipIt’s time for optimism in America. Right now.

I’m convinced that the best era of America is still ahead. And it’s time to start building it, even if Washington won’t, and even if the politicians are going to bring us both ups and downs in the years ahead.

When we turn on the news, we hear of debts ceilings, a $17 trillion national debt, deficits, credit rating downgrades, inflationary money, layoffs, political party anger and name-calling, leaders who won’t negotiate, government shutdowns, sequesters, defaults, international unrest and conflicts, and on and on.

It’s a bit overwhelming, and most people are either deeply frustrated or have decided not to follow the news too closely.

But this is only part of the story.

While those in Washington argue, over and over, about their latest Crisis of the Month, a lot of regular citizens have done something very important. They’ve realized that the future is up to them, and not to the politicians.

And the numbers of such people are growing. Some are getting more involved than ever before at the local level, and others are spending more time strengthening their families. Some are studying current events with real passion, and others are tackling history and the great classics in order to learn a lot more.

Still others are focusing on community projects, service, teaching the youth, and supporting charities that really need more support, and quite a few are increasing their entrepreneurship — building the economy for themselves and others instead of waiting for politicians to get their act together.

And make no mistake, when the regular people in America, Canada, and other nations realize that it’s up to them and then take action, it’s like rousing a sleeping giant. When the average citizen stands up and gets involved, like after Pearl Harbor or during the American Revolution, big things really happen.

Right now, the giant is just starting to stir. The signs are faint, but they are growing: Tea Partiers, Occupiers, protestors, bloggers, radio-show callers, “social medi-ers,” and above all, lots of newly-focused volunteers and entrepreneurs.

The people are beginning to feel the need to take their nation back, especially their economy. The future is bright.

Whatever Washington does, the leadership spirit in our homes will determine the years and decades ahead. Many experts have dubbed the 21st century “the China Century,” but in truth the reason China is growing is widespread entrepreneurship. That’s the real story.

And up until now, most freedom-lovers have argued that American entrepreneurs will bring back our economy — if Washington will just get out of the way. This message is now changing.

As the problems in politics keep increasing, more and more people are looking around, taking stock, and saying, “You know what? Washington might never get its act together. So, I guess it’s up to me.”

This is the spirit of enterprise, and there is almost no power in the world as strong as a people fully committed to free enterprise.

This is an exciting time. Instead of waiting for the politicians to free up the economy, we’re now making the great FreedomShift: Regardless of what Congresses and Presidents and Justices do, let’s build our families, communities, and the economy to a whole new level — and show Washington what to do. We’re the leaders now. When we lead, the politicians will have to follow.

If you haven’t joined this movement yet, today is a good time to start.

Build a business.
Or read a great classic.
Start a class for kids in your area.
Or begin attending all your city council meetings.
Make and follow a plan to double your savings rate.

Brainstorm. Identify where your passions are, and then take action to genuinely improve your life and the world around you.

Get started. The economy and society need you. It’s up to us.

What the media and politicians don’t realize is that this is happening. The worse Washington gets, the more people are taking personal action. It’s real. And it’s growing. Whatever Washington does, this is the movement that will make or break our future.

Smile. Laugh with a friend. Tell your kids a joke and giggle together. Tell them that the future is bright. And take action to make it true.

Now is a time for real optimism.


odemille Its Time for Optimism and Leadership Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Economics &Education &Family &Generations &Government &Leadership &Liberty &Mini-Factories &Politics

The Future of Feminism

January 9th, 2014 // 9:00 am @

wecandoit The Future of FeminismIt could be over. The whole, centuries-long debate between men and women, as well as between women and women, over the best role for women, may be coming to an end.

Ironically, this hinges not so much on women or men, but on both. And on children too.

Let me explain.

Feminism has progressed through several phases in history.

  1. First, women demanded voting and other basic equality with men.
  2. Second, they argued for the basic intrinsic equality of both genders.
  3. Third, they sought legal equality in the Equal Rights Amendment era.

All of these strategies made sense to men and women, even those who disagreed with the various leaders and agendas of feminism. After all, the idea of seeking equitable treatment and rights is basic to most Americans.

But at some point, starting in the 1980s, feminism took several interesting, and surprising, turns. Most men were shocked by the intensity of the woman vs. woman debate between those who argued that all women should have full-time careers and those who felt that such a choice was a downgrade for women, that their best work was done in the home.

This was followed by the “We Can Have It All” era, where many young women idealized having both full-time careers and all the benefits and rewards of full-time homemaking. One side said this was the ideal, another side argued that this was a mere illusion.

And finally, in the most recent evolution of feminist debates, dubbed “The Mommy Wars” by the media, some promoters of women in careers and some who believe that homemaking is the female ideal faced off in increasingly tense and extremely strong language.

By this point in the dialogue, men were basically left out of the conversation. National reports showed that more women than men are in college, and that men’s financial outlook is in decline while the earning future for women is bright.

Feminism was still a passionate topic, but the battling sides were made up almost exclusively of women.

That brings us to today. We now seem to be entering yet another major era of this discussion, but this time men are back in the conversation. They are front and center, in fact.

Women are increasingly talking about what men should, or shouldn’t, be. The idea seems to be that if men would just get their act together, many of the modern problems faced by women would be solved.

Like past battles, this one tends to anger almost everyone who thinks about it. One side makes the case that women are better off just living independently. They can have men in their life, if they choose, as long as they don’t become dependent on a man.

In fact, this view seems to accept that men will come and go, and that ultimately a woman has herself, her education and career, and a few close (women) friends that she can really depend on.

Her battles, in this narrative, are against enemies and frenemies, who are nearly always other women — not against men.

This worldview shows up in numerous recent movies and a host of articles in women’s magazines. Watch popular women’s talk shows, and this perspective is nearly always accepted as a fundamental — and undebatable — assumption.

On the other side is a growing view that men and women are very different, that each should fully engage their differences, and that both are happiest when this occurs.

As I said, this is ruffling feathers wherever the new view is shared.

Many women who agree with the historical goals of feminism — and men who view themselves as enlightened, modern, sensitive males — find this newly popular perspective corrupt, positively medieval, and above all, baffling.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this new era of discussion about men and women is that the majority view (the “Independent Woman”) patently refuses to even entertain the growing new perspective (“Real Men/Real Women”).

It is similar to when feminism first began, and men just ignored it, discounted it, or perhaps even laughed at it. This is how the current majority Independent Woman crowd is treating the growing Real Man/New Women minority.

In case you haven’t yet heard this new perspective, it goes something like this:

  • Men are happiest when they are deeply involved in a chosen life mission that centers around their deepest interests and passions, their life purpose.
  • Women want just such a man; anything less is a letdown to them.
  • Men want a woman who will support them in this purpose and help them achieve it.
  • Women are happiest when they are helping a man who is deeply engrossed in such a life mission, and raising sons who will someday pursue just such a mission and daughters who will help a man do this as well.

For the Independent Woman crowd, the Real Man/Real Woman view sounds a lot like a modern return to the worst elements of old-style patriarchy, the very reason that feminism was invented.

But as feminism proved, just ignoring this growing minority perspective isn’t going to make it go away.

A lot of people, both men and women, swear by this rising view. For them, women are equal to men, and should have all the same opportunities in education and work. And the happiest equal men and women, they maintain, follow these simple guidelines.

Men want a woman who above all wants to support him and raise a family, and women want a man who gives his life to a central purpose and raising a family.

If a man doesn’t have a life mission, a great purpose, he isn’t going to be very happy. And his woman won’t be very impressed with him. Neither will she feel valued or fulfilled in a marriage if her spouse does not depend on her to help in a real, important purpose.

This is the immediate future of feminism, the debate between the Independent Woman viewpoint and the Real Man/Real Woman perspective. Like I said, this is making a lot of people angry.

On the humorous side, this really is a return to the beginning of the whole debate about feminism. The first shall be last and the last shall be first, I guess.

But there is one big difference this time: the Independent Woman crowd is in the majority — at least in the media, academia, government, and other centers of pop culture.

How this difference impacts the debate remains to be seen.

Just to be clear, I agree with the Real Man/Real Woman side of this argument. I’m just fine with men or women being fully independent. I think we should all have the freedom to choose what we want, and the fact that my daughters (I have 5) have as many options as my sons makes me very happy.

I also think that the happiest men are passionately focused on a great life purpose, and the happiest women are married to such men — where they help each other in the most important parts of life.

Are they equal? Of course. Are they different? Of course. Should this be used as an excuse for men to control women, or for women to control men? Of course not.

But here’s the real problem: Our modern society is structured by the elitist class to convince the rest of us not to engage a central life mission or purpose. We are taught to get an education that will give us a job, a career, working for corporations and institutions run by the upper class. We are taught that our great life passions and interests are at best hobbies.

We are taught that well-paid professional drone work is the ideal — for men and for women. We are taught that children should be trained in schools run by the policies of elitists, seeking the goals outlined by elitists for those in the middle and lower classes.

This message is being taught in nearly every school in modern America. It is being promoted from Hollywood, and encouraged by Madison Avenue. It is being increasingly regulated and enforced from Washington.

Worst of all, more and more parents teach this message to their kids: “Get good grades, get into a good college, get a good career, and spend most of your adult hours working for someone else’s profit and power. This is the key to a happy life.”

As long as this lie dominates our society, a majority of men and women are going to miss out on real life. That’s the future of feminism, manhoodism, childhoodism, socialism, and capitalism.

It’s a serious problem.

For men, women, and children.

And the only thing that has any chance of changing it is Real Man/Real Woman ism. Real Men and Real Women find a great life purpose and give their all for it. And, where possible, they do this together. This is the key to a happy life.

That’s where I stand. I hope you do too.


odemille The Future of Feminism Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Culture &Current Events &Family &Generations &History &Politics

The Legacy of 2013?

January 8th, 2014 // 1:31 pm @

drowning laws 300x231 The Legacy of 2013? The year 2013 is over, and it may go down in history as another drastically negative year like 1913. The hundred year itch? Maybe.

The year started out with high political drama as Republicans and Democrats argued late into the nights on January 1 and 2 in search of a fiscal cliff agreement.

In May and June we watched a domino series of major scandals, including the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the revelation that the NSA is consistently spying on all American citizens.

The drama didn’t let up over the summer, culminating in the widely watched government shutdown in October.

Then came the rollout of Obamacare, and the fact that no, you can’t “keep your doctor, or your insurance company,” no matter what the President promised.

Many Americans lost all faith in politicians — all of them.

But the worst news came in December, with the little-publicized announcement of the two major things that will most likely stand out about 2013:

  1. First, China landed a probe on the moon, symbolizing a new level of Chinese expansion into world leadership.
  2. Second, the news came out that during 2013 state governments in the United States passed over 40,000 new laws.

That’s not a typo. It’s 40,000 new laws — which means five times that many regulations when all the agencies of government write these laws into agency policies. It’s even more if you add the new federal laws.

Taken together, these signal a serious period of decline for America. We are a nation being overtaken by our biggest competitor (some would say future enemy) China, and simultaneously mired in skyrocketing levels of regulation.

Governments, federal and state, now seem determined to regulate and overregulate every facet of our lives — private and business. Many entrepreneurs, who were already reeling from reams of Obamacare regulations, are now facing more government red tape from every flank.

The free enterprise economy is literally under siege. Those who think this is exaggerated should try to open a significant new business in the United States. Most of the biggest entrepreneurs and corporations who have attempted this recently have decided to build in China or some other economy instead. The U.S. government has become generally hostile to business.

This is a strange reality for the land of the free and the home of the brave. Long considered the bastion of world freedom and economic opportunity, America is consistently less appealing to many businesses and investors.

The December 31, 2013 issue of USA Today summarized this overarching trend by saying that “aristocracy” is now “in” in America.

Aristocracy, really? That’s a bold statement. Yet it is increasingly true. The lower classes are more dependent on government, and the middle classes only survive by using debt. Only the upper class, the elites, are financially flourishing — and many of them rely on international investment that is growing in foreign economies.

Anyone relying on the U.S. economy right now is concerned. What will the escalating rollout of Obamacare bring? How many more government regulations will come in 2014, and how will this further weaken the economy?

The experts are finally taking notice of sharply rising levels of regulation, even if Washington isn’t.

For example, Francis Fukuyama called our time “The Great Unravelling” (The American Interest, Jan/Feb 2014) and Steven M. Teles called it “Kludgeocracy in America” (National Affairs, Fall 2013). We have become a Kludgeocracy indeed, with more business-killing regulation every week.

In The Discovery of Freedom, Rose Wilder Lane said that,

“Men in Government who imagine that they are controlling a planned economy must prevent economic progress—as, in the past, they have always done.”

What is her definition of a planned economy? Answer: modern France, Britain, and the United States. She quoted Henry Thomas Buckle, who wrote:

“In every quarter, and at every moment, the hand of government was felt. Duties on importation, and on exportation; bounties to raise up a losing trade, and taxes to pull down a remunerative one; this branch of industry forbidden, and that branch of industry encouraged; one article of commerce must not be grown because it was grown in the colonies, another article might be grown and bought, but not sold again, while a third article might be bought and sold, but not leave the country.

“Then, too, we find laws to regulate wages; laws to regulate prices; laws to regulate the interest of money…The ports swarmed with [government officials], whose sole business was to inspect nearly every process of domestic industry, to peer into every package, and tax every article…”

This was written about France, just before it lost its place as the world’s most powerful nation, and it was published as a warning to Britain, just before it lost it’s superpower status. This quote applies perfectly to America today.

Great nations in decline need innovation and entrepreneurialism, but instead they choose anti-innovation and anti-entrepreneurial regulation. It’s amazing how every nation repeats this well-known but addictive path of self-destruction.

As Lane Kenworthy argues in Foreign Affairs, opponents of bigger government “are fighting a losing battle.” In the near future, he says,

“More Americans will work in jobs with low pay, will lose a job more than once during their careers, and will reach retirement age with little savings.”

But this will be offset, he suggests, by more vacation days, less working hours each week, and more government programs that pay for many of these people’s needs.

Many of the experts agree — he U.S. economy isn’t going to boom anytime soon, but this will be balanced for investors by significant economic successes in Mexico, South Korea, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, among other places.

All of this adds up to an America on the verge of what Paul Kennedy called the “fall of great powers”: overreach in international affairs that spends much of the nation’s prosperity, and simultaneously too much government regulation at home — shutting down a nation’s innovative/entrepreneurial class at the same time that the government taxes and spends more and more.

This same pattern brought down the top leader status of Spain, France, Britain and the Soviet Union. Before these, it brought down Athens, Rome, and the Ottoman Empire. Unless the United States changes course, it is following this same blueprint for decline.

When historians look back on 2013, they may well see it as the tipping point to a rapid American downturn. Partisan conflicts, government spying on its own people, drastic government spending, constantly increasing regulation, the rapid rise of China — any of these could fuel real decline. Together they may be insurmountable.

But one thing stands out: In a nation desperately in need of innovation and entrepreneurial initiative, the government is handing out innovation-blocking regulations at a breakneck pace.

The good news in all this is that entrepreneurs don’t give up easily. Tenacity is part of their DNA. The future will be determined by this race between politicians (increasing regulations) and entrepreneurs (innovation and prosperity).

Whoever wins will lead the 21st Century.


odemille The Legacy of 2013? Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Aristocracy &Blog &Business &Citizenship &Current Events &Economics &Entrepreneurship &Government &Politics

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.

October 12th, 2013 // 3:11 pm @

Lee Curz Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes.by Oliver DeMille

At some point, America is going to have to face reality. We can’t keep increasing government spending, debt, and borrowing without eventually paying for it. But the problem is deep:

When Americans are asked if they want to get rid of our $17 trillion debt and huge deficits, they say, “Yes.”

When they are told that we need to cut any actual government spending program, any program, they say, “No.”

What gives? Essentially, Americans want to get more from government but pay less. Ted Cruz was popular among conservatives when he stood against Obamacare, but when the media pushed back, conservative support decreased.

Mike Lee was popular in his home state when he took the same stand vocally, but his popularity decreased a little when he took real action to help slow the negative facets of Obamacare. Other leaders have seen the same thing.

Too many of the American people want our leaders to reduce our out-of-control debt and deficits, but they don’t want it to be hard. They want it to be easy. They support those who talk tough, but withdraw support when a leader takes courageous action.

Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and others, including a number of House Republicans, who take a stand against expanding government are heroes, pure and simple. This is true of anyone, from any party, who stands for what our nation really needs. Their stand against the expansion of big government deserves a lot more support.

Our national economic problems are going to get worse and worse until leaders take a stand to reduce spending and borrowing. But when some leaders do this, popular opinion frequently turns against them. If this remains true, Americans deserve the economic difficulties that will keep growing. If we want something better, we need to stand up for it.

Instead of complaining that our leaders don’t do enough of the right things, we need to strongly support the few leaders who actually do take action. Instead of repeating the national mantra, “Why can’t everyone just get along in Washington?,” we need to be the kind of citizens who know that a better future is worth fighting for. Thank goodness some of our leaders understand this.

Lee or Cruz for president. Or, if you’re a Democrat, look up the recent speeches of Joe Manchin. Bring in Paul, Rubio, Ryan, and anyone else who is standing for common sense. We need to stand behind leaders, regardless of party, who actually see what is needed and do something about it—regardless of how it plays in the polls. Those who do this are today’s heroes.



odemille Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are Heroes. Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Citizenship &Current Events &Economics &Government &Independents &Leadership &Politics &Prosperity

Losing Faith in Washington?

June 17th, 2013 // 12:07 pm @

big brother poster 204x300 Losing Faith in Washington?President Obama’s fundamental argument since his campaign and through his first term and second campaign has been that our society can benefit more from government than it has in the past.

This is an easy sell in Europe, but not so much in the United States.

The framers mistrusted government, and felt that freedom can only last in a society where the people keep a close eye on all government activity.

But in the last few decades, many Americans have become used to increasing government benefits and programs.

The majority now votes for more government, not less.

Recent events have put a bit of a damper on the big government argument, however.

With scandals piling up like dominoes, from IRS targeting and Benghazi to AP phone records and PRISM to surveillance of Americans’ private emails and phone calls, the people are returning to a concern about Big Brother.

Even a number of strong supporters of the Obama Administration are calling for a new look at the current trajectory.

For example, Chris Matthews called on President Obama to take responsibility for his Administration’s actions, and the New York Times Editorial Board wrote: “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.”

Both the Bush and Obama Administrations overreached their powers, and in fact such abuses go back to the Clinton, Bush I and earlier administrations.

In short, Washington is in some ways out of control, and our freedoms are at stake.

In the face of all these scandals, President Obama has told the American people that these are simply the normal “inconveniences” of keeping our nation safe.

Note that this is the argument used by many throughout history who wanted to increase the power of government over its people.

But there is a big difference between this round of scandals and those that have come in past decades.

Amazingly, the White House isn’t acting as if it is under siege.

As David Brooks wrote on June 6 in The New York Times:

“There’s a weird calm around Washington these days. The Obama administration only has a year before the lame-duck status sets in. Yet you don’t get a sense of urgency.

“White House officials seem busy running the government, but they are not filling the public space with a transformational second-term agenda. Republican leaders aren’t offering bold plans either.”

The current Administration has lost its credibility concerning its main purpose—to expand the role of government.

Still, many people really do want government to do more for them.

As long as the majority believes in ever-expanding government, it is going to endure scandals and keep electing leaders who will deliver.


odemille 133x195 custom Losing Faith in Washington?Oliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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