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A LeaderShift is coming. Are you ready?

February 8th, 2013 // 2:09 pm @

Now available for presale!

Pleadershiftcoverlease join us in celebrating Oliver DeMille’s latest work, co-authored with best-selling author and business guru Orrin Woodward — the  soon-to-be released book, LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, with an on-sale date of April 16, 2013.

This action-packed business fable is the culmination of Orrin and Oliver’s combined expertise and will offer every North American a deeper understanding of the Five Laws of Decline and how the respective effects are becoming increasingly evident in the United States.

LeaderShift will explain this devastating phenomenon in detail, motivate readers to take immediate and precise action and, most importantly, offer guidance on how each individual can contribute to not only stopping, but reversing this crippling trend.

Orrin and Oliver are proud to have LeaderShift published by the prestigious Hachette Book Group (second largest book publishing company in the world) and will hit the mainstream under the Business Plus imprint of one of the country’s most elite book publishing groups. In 2011, Hachette Book Group had a record 182 print books and 62 eBooks on the New York Times bestseller list, 45 of which reached #1.

At the time of this posting, LeaderShift is already rated #38 on Amazon’s sales ranking for Business Leadership titles, and #25 on Barnes and Noble.

Pre-order your copy today! >>

 

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Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Business &Current Events &Entrepreneurship &event &Independents &Leadership

Two Types of Republicans and Rising Socialism in America

January 29th, 2013 // 7:33 pm @

The future of America depends on the House of Representatives.

If it goes along with the Obama Administration’s plans, we’ll see major changes in the next four years, and the move toward socialistic policies will be as momentous as the swing to the right under Ronald Reagan.

The White House and Senate are committed to this course, and only the House stands in the way of a serious socializing of America.

There are two types of Republicans in the House, and as long as they are split the White House will probably keep winning.

On the one hand, the Legislative Republicans believe in government.

They are conservative in the sense that they want the government to make good policy and live within its means, but they believe in government and in passing laws to effect change.

More to the point, the Legislative Republicans are against many of the Administration’s policies, and they believe in stopping the White House agenda by getting involved in the legislation and amending it to make it more conservative.

On the face, this may seem like a good viewpoint.

But these representatives have little support for their amendments. Democrats typically vote against such amendments, and so do the other Republicans.

Because of this, such a strategy routinely fails.

The Legislative Republicans don’t get their amendments passed, so they simply end up splitting the vote and allowing the White House to win.

The second type, the Limited Government Republicans, don’t believe in more legislation.

They want smaller government, major spending cuts and wise fiscal choices concerning entitlements.

They want tax reductions and a balanced budget, because they believe good fiscal policy leads to immediate and lasting improvements in the economy.

The White House wins whenever it splits the votes of these two branches of the GOP.

Legislative Republicans argue that the problem comes from the Small Government Republicans who don’t support  amendments to White House proposals, amendments that would make the laws less hurtful to the economy.

These two camps show little likelihood of working together, and as a result the White House agenda keeps passing.

So who are the bad guys?

Those who try to work with the president but slow down his plans, or those who want to stop his agenda in its tracks?

In truth, the Legislative Republicans are living in a fantasy world.

Even if they were to gain the support of all Republicans in the House, they would amend various policies and pass them, only to see the White House bring more and more proposals that would undo the slowing effects of their amendments.

Those in the House who are standing strongly against big government policies are the hope of America.

We need the Legislative Republicans to join them.

It takes three presidential terms to really turn America around.

In third terms, two things happen: 1) policies really take hold, and 2) more Supreme Court appointments come.

For example, Reagan effectively got a third term by putting George Bush into office and continuing many of his main policies.

Clinton wasn’t able to do this because Al Gore lost in the 2000 election.

In the case of Barack Obama, there is a strong sense in the Administration that enough changes need to be made that real change occurs even if a third Democratic term doesn’t come.

President Obama is very popular personally, not so much for his policies but because of his person.

Republicans keep winning in Congress, for example. So the president may not have a third term Democratic follow-up after 2016.

As long as the Republicans are split, the White House can keep pushing its agenda and promote two term’s worth of policies during the next four years.

This seems to be their strategy.

The future of freedom right now depends on the House of Representatives, and it is time for the Legislative Republicans in the House to step back, realize what’s at stake, rethink their stance, and take a more direct stand for freedom.

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Category : Blog &Current Events &Economics &Featured &Government &Leadership &Liberty &Politics

Is Feminism Over?

January 24th, 2013 // 9:12 pm @

“Though it might be naïve, [this generation has] a belief that friendships are forever,
whereas most dating relationships are expected to end.”
Psychology Today, January/February 2013

“Are Girlfriends the New Husbands?” This is the title of an article in the January 2013 issue of Marie Claire magazine.

The article goes on to say that the person many women now count on most for things like support in the delivery room, help with financial or career problems, or someone to talk to about one’s biggest challenges, is not a husband, but a best girl friend.

For example, the article states:

  • “In place of marriage, there’s a new, ultramodern partnership that melds the camaraderie and loyalty of a friendship with the intimacy, support, and pragmatism of a husband.”

 

  • “Across the nation, tens of thousands of single women are in committed quasi-unions with their closest confidents, behaving like married couples in virtually every respect (except for the sex, of course). They hit up family functions together, stand in as emergency contacts on doctors’ forms, even cosign mortgages together.”

 

  • “…if your mother’s been nudging you to settle down and find a husband already, tell her to relax, you’ve kind of, sort of, already got one.”

 

  • “A record 46 percent of adults 25 to 34 are unmarried, according to the Pew Research Center, a figure likely to climb even higher given how dim a view Millennials [born between 1984 and 2001] have of the institution: 44 percent think marriage is altogether obsolete.”

This is an interesting addition to the post gender-war world where over half of marriages end in divorce and the traditional roles of men and women are just interesting historical traditions for many in the younger generations.

While (as the article points out) best friends have always been important to women, and many women feel that the person they can truly count on isn’t a husband but rather a close female friend, the core change is that now this relationship is increasingly the ideal for many women in their twenties and thirties.

The concept of a husband becoming their closest confident and best friend is losing ground, replaced by the expectation that a husband can never fully fulfill the roles that a friend always will.

Indeed, many young women today expect marriage to be rocky, but they idealize friendship and hold their female friends to very high standards.

Many girls and women “think that friendship has to be perfect,” as Psychology Today put it.

The article in Marie Claire noted that “a 2010 study found that young, urban single women outearn their male counterparts by 8 percent…”

For today’s generation of women ages 20-35, who make more money than men their age and get most of their emotional support and friendship from other women, feminism is just an era of history.

What is there to fight for when they’ve won?

On the other hand, in the major magazines targeted to men from this same generation, many young males think they’ve won the jackpot.

For example, in the January 2013 issues of GQ, Esquire, and Men’s Health, there are numerous articles giving tips for how to have more frequent and better intimate relations—none of them assume that such sexual relations carry any long-term responsibility or commitment.

Many single men in the 20-35 generation see life as endless freedom, plentiful intimacy, and few obligations, and they are content with women earning more in such an environment.

It seems that in a culture where sex isn’t limited to the bounds of marriage, men are less likely to commit and women end up replacing the ideal of husbands with best friends.

The January/February 2013 issue of Psychology Today may have put its finger on the core issue:

“Only religions still take sex seriously, in the sense of properly respecting its power to turn us away from our priorities. Only religions see it as something potentially dangerous and needed to be guarded against…. Religions are often mocked for being prudish, but they wouldn’t judge sex to be quite so bad if they didn’t understand that it could be rather wonderful.”

Within marriage, most religions hold, sex is part of the human ideal—outside of marriage commitments, it can be a real danger to personal happiness and societal progress.

In any case, for many people of the rising generation the feminism debate is over.

The question that remains is whether today’s young will really change their ideals.

Will they continue to see single life, career fulfillment, a series of romantic relationships void of commitment, and close friends as the accomplishment of their dreams, or will they, like past generations, desire lives built around marriage, children raised in traditional families, hearth and home.

While such words may sound out-of-date to some modern ears, the truly surprising thing would be if this generation doesn’t eventually return to these “quaint, outdated” definitions of success, happiness and fulfillment.

If it really does reject the values of marriage and hearth, it will be the first generation in history to do so voluntarily.

Despite current trends, it’s highly doubtful that this will happen.

I’m convinced that deep down this generation is a lot more old-fashioned than it knows.

Time will tell.

 

***********************************

odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver 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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Category : Culture &Current Events &Family &Featured &Generations

What Seidman Should Have Said

January 17th, 2013 // 8:30 pm @

The Party System,
Not the Constitution,
is the
Reason Our Government
is Broken

 

On December 30, 2012, The New York Times published an article by Lewis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, which said:
“…the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit, our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.”
After such inflammatory remarks, it isn’t surprising that many Americans took exception and voiced their anger at Seidman’s words.
In fact, numerous articles attacking Seidman’s views have received a lot more traffic online than the original article itself.
This outpouring of strong rebuttals is a happy reminder that the spirit of freedom is strong in America.
Few of the responses really addressed Seidman’s main point, however. Seidman’s central arguments were:
  1. Parts of the Constitution are archaic
  2. Some are idiosyncratic
  3. Others are downright evil
  4. Our modern government system is broken
  5. The Constitution is to blame for the reality that our modern government is broken
Seidman is dead wrong about point 5, and the tone of his words is an affront to freedom-loving Americans.
But the attacks on his article emphasize angry responses to the first three points, even though points 1-3 are technically accurate.
For example, the provisions which allowed slavery and counted slaves as 2/3 of a citizen are archaic (they were in fact archaic in 1787), idiosyncratic (coming as they do in a document whose whole focus is to protect freedom and inalienable rights), and certainly evil.

Say whatever you want about the founders inheriting the practice of slavery, the need to have unity, or whatever other justifications people use to explain why the framers allowed slavery in the Constitution, but slavery is still evil. It is.

As for the 4th point in Seidman’s article–the idea that our government seems broken–Seidman is only saying what nearly all of his attackers also say and which most Americans now feel.
If Washington isn’t entirely broken, at the very least something is very wrong.
So, giving Seidman the benefit of the doubt, his first 4 points are accurate.
The problem is that he uses these points to strengthen the 5th point, the argument that the Constitution is to blame for America’s current problems, and to suggest that we should abandon or significantly alter the U.S. Constitution.
He also seems to imply that much of the Constitution, well beyond slavery, is bad, leaving readers with the impression that the whole document is entirely flawed.
Seidman is wrong about this.
The truth is that the Constitution is responsible for the growth, success and great wealth and power of the United States, and in fact it is the one thing most effectively keeping the nation from falling apart today.
It has given more freedom to more people than perhaps any other governmental system in history. As such, it is far from archaic or evil.
The most important provisions of the Constitution include the separation of governmental powers into four distinct branches, including three on the federal level (legislative, executive, judicial) and a fourth state level which in fact is given power over more things than the federal government.
The provisions that are keeping us relatively strong and free today also include various checks and balances between these four branches of government, and a Bill of Rights that maintains certain vital rights for the individual citizens of the nation.
Remove these provisions, and our freedoms and national prosperity and strength would quickly dissipate.
But point 4 remains: Our government certainly seems broken, or close to it. And if the Constitution isn’t to blame, what is?
The answer, in contrast to Seidman’s article, is that the growing influence of the party system has subjugated our nation to a series of continual crises.
Moreover, the party system is blocking solutions to our biggest financial problems, from overspending and taxing to over-regulating, further inflation of the dollar, increasing our debt and deficits, and downgrading our national credit rating.
The party system also obstructs progress on entitlement and health care finance.
In all of these cases, the Constitution is keeping us from going too far in any extreme direction, while the party system is keeping us from implementing lasting solutions.
Our government is broken because of the party system.
Note that the party system is not part of the Constitution, though if it were, we could immediately and accurately refer to it as archaic, idiosyncratic and evil.
Nor is “evil” too strong a word for this. Thomas Jefferson wrote:
“Men are naturally divided into two parties, those who fear and distrust the people and wish to draw all power from them into the hands of the higher classes [versus] those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depository of the public interests.”
Those advocating the first of Jefferson’s parties are indeed the cause of much evil in the history of the world.
Their push to remove power from the people causes class divisions, loss of freedom, and always ends up protecting the rights of elites more than the inalienable rights of the people.
This is at times called slavery, at others aristocracy or tyranny, and sometimes rule by elites, but it always reduces freedom and opportunity for the masses, and it is always evil.
John Adams said,
“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
George Washington said that while in a monarchy political parties can be a good check on too much power in the king, in democratic nations parties cause most of the problems.

There are many similar quotes from the founding generation confirming that the party system is a real threat to America. And both major parties are currently dominated by those who seek to take freedom and power from the people and govern from the top.

Today, nearly every way government is broken is a direct result of the party system, while the one thing most effectively holding Washington together is the U.S. Constitution.
We fought a great civil war to fix the archaic and evil provisions of slavery and the idiosyncrasies of promoting liberty on the backs of slaves, and as a result of the Constitution the gains of women, minorities, all religions and other disadvantaged groups have been much higher under the U.S. Constitution than in any other nation on earth.
Attacking the Constitution is the worst-case scenario, because it casts doubt on the best thing about the American system of freedom.

The sooner we can change the party system and instead govern our nation by the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, the better.

Here is what Seidman’s article should have said:
“[T]he American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit, our addiction to the party system, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil consequences. It is time to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing political parties.”
This is America’s real challenge, and until we fix the party system the dysfunction in Washington and the ongoing series of national crises will continue.
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Category : Blog &Featured

The 50 Steps of Crisis Eras

January 10th, 2013 // 9:23 am @

Note to the Reader: I offered this list three years ago in early 2010, and since then the steps of crisis have advanced. I felt it was time to review and see where we are right now. Today I added a few words of commentary that update things since 2010—these are at the very end of this list. If you want, feel free to skip to the end and read the last paragraph before reading the list. It is amazing how closely we are following this!  —Oliver

Part I: The 50 Steps of Crisis Eras

The steps below come in the following general order during the 20-25 years of Crisis Eras in history. This pattern repeats itself every 80 years or so, with the last crisis era occurring between 1922-1945. Within the phases, steps can come in any order. Our current crisis era began on September 11, 2001.

PHASE I

The Pre-Crisis Era (Usually 7-12 Years before the Crisis)

1. Foreign war (e.g. French and Indian, Mexican-American, WWI, Gulf War)

2. Major economic boom (e.g. the roaring twenties, the dot.com nineties boom)

3. Declining morals (both sexual and charitable)

4. Escapist entertainment (novels, the Charleston, the sitcom, etc.)

5. Salesman values are the norm: tolerance, niceness, wealth, etc.

6. Two-party conflict

7. Big institutions lose popular support (e.g. British Parliament 1780s, Congress 1860s, Presidency 1920s, courts 1990s).

PHASE II

The Catalyst and Its Aftermath

8. Major catalyst event changes everything (e.g. Boston tea party, Election of Lincoln, 1929 stock market crash, 9/11).

9. Society gears up for crisis, but nothing happens yet.

10. Return to seeming normalcy, but growing fear and mistrust.

11. Gold (and in modern times steel and oil) prices soar.

12. Realist entertainment

13. Growing racial and religious intolerance

14. Business failures and buy outs

15. Increased regulation of business

16. Many foreign conflicts

17. Many government scandals

18. Widely increased stress and health problems across the nation

19. Economic downturn — looks bad but bounces back for a while

20. Entrepreneurial values begin spreading: ingenuity, self-reliance, confidence

PHASE III

The Escalating Crisis (Steps 21-28 can occur in any order and at any point before step 35, but they do occur at some point during crisis eras.)

21. Big crisis event! (war, pandemic, natural disaster, depression, etc.)

22. All society’s problems suddenly combined into 1 big problem!

23. It feels like our civilization itself is at stake (it is!)

24. Statesmen either choose pessimism, fear, worry about the future, or they choose optimism and planning for after the crisis.

25. Major economic downturn, often at depression levels.

26. Major war begins.

27. One political party takes charge (for next decade or more).

28. Leaders either hunker down and try to survive the crisis, or they study hard, research deep, start or build businesses to fund freedom, and figure out answers for when the crisis is over.

29. Emphasis off rights and on duties (draft, tax hikes, censorship of media, etc.)

30. Customized becomes Mass (fewer brands at store, one or two office pay-scales and benefits package, etc.)

31. Leaders either focus on self survival or they write, teach, publish and spread ideas of freedom for after the crisis.

32. Warrior values dominate society: courage, strength, resiliency.

33. Every family sacrifices greatly.

34. Religious observance soars.

PHASE IV

The Turnaround (This is where things take a shift toward positive!)

35. Health increases, stress and anxiety decrease.

36. Greatness returns, because there is no other choice: greatness in homes, communities, nations, business, politics.

37. Leaders either trust that the government will just handle things after the crisis or they continue studying, teaching, writing and spreading the ideas that need to be adopted when the crisis ends.

38. The splintering, complexity and cynicism of the past 40 years turns to cooperation, spirituality and optimism. Happiness increases. (e.g. the number of  people who considered themselves very happy decreased 60% from 1957 to 2007. 60%!).

39. Crisis ends! Everyone celebrates.

40. Masses go home, ignore societal progress and get back to life.

PHASE V

The Post-Crisis Era—Major Changes (Typically 0-12 Years After Crisis)

41. Leaders establish a new set of economic rules (with a mixture of regulation and free enterprise and a bias toward one of these).

42. Leaders establish a new culture (with government, corporations or family as the central institution).

43. Leaders establish a new social contract (with a mixture of government and private institutions such as schools, health care, insurance, technology, arts, etc.).

44. Leaders establish a new society (with decisions on the accepted mixtures of morals, pleasures and duties).

45. Leaders establish a new ideal view of rights (with mixtures of inalienable, civil and human rights).

46. Leaders establish a new definition of family.

47. Leaders define a new class (or classless) system.

48. Leaders establish new boundaries, allies and treaties.

49. Leaders establish new constitutional models and legal codes to embody steps 41-48 above.

[These choices can go very good for freedom, prosperity and happiness, or very poorly for these. It is up to the citizens and statesmen who influence and impact these decisions. While the decisions are made during the early post-crisis era, the leaders are prepared and the ideas promoted during the 20-25 year period of crisis.]

What’s next? Well, it could go either of two ways:

50a. If leaders are effective in their studying, learning and spreading freedom and free enterprise ideas during the crisis era, the society adopts free enterprise, family-centered culture. moral-based society, inalienable and equal civil and human rights, strong family values, no class or caste system, and a freedom-based form of constitution.

50b. If leaders aren’t effective in their studying, learning and spreading the principles of freedom during the crisis era and early post-crisis era, society adopts lots of regulation, governmental and corporate controls over the people, pleasure-based society, a loss of rights, aristocratic class systems and laws, and a force-based government.

Part II: Comments by Oliver DeMille

March, 2010

Almost a decade ago, 9/11 created event 8, and we watched events 9-13 occur during the Bush Administration. Then, since the major economic crisis and the election of President Obama we have watched events 14-18 occur.

This is happening very quickly. With the Health Care law, we will likely see 14-18 accelerate in the next couple of years before we have a chance to reverse things in a presidential election. The election will probably determine whether or not we progress quickly or slowly toward major crises.

January, 2013

We have witnessed a significant increase of events 14-18 since March 2010, and after the midterm elections of 2010 and huge gains by Republicans in the House of Representatives, we saw event 19 occur. In fact, it was strong enough that the nation re-elected President Obama in 2012.

After the election, we began witnessing event 20, partly as numerous businesses shut down to use resources in other ways or restructured in the face of increasing regulations, and also as a number of entrepreneurs saw the decline of free enterprise and got even more serious about growing their businesses—regardless of what government does.

We will see event 20 increase in 2013, and events 21-25 sometime very soon—likely before the 2016 election. Whether 21 or 25 will come first remains to be seen.

 

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CurrentEventsBadge 300x300 The Fifty Steps of Crisis Eras by Oliver DeMille

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