Monday, January 13, 2014

A VOICE OF FREEDOM IN TRYING TIMES

Originally posted by Life Founder George Guzzardo.

God bless, Scott Johnson


Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.)
Whenever freedom reigns from a period of bondage or decline, you will find a group of leaders who had the courage to make a difference. When taking a first look, those who lead don’t always appear to be identified as the leaders who will make a difference. This was the case in 377 B.C. when a frail seven - year old boy by the name of Demosthenes sat down in the town square. That is where the Greeks came for their education. It was here that Demosthenes first heard the truths spoken by a well – built dignified man. That man Plato, shaped the boy’s future. The classical education he received at the city circle provoked his interest in sculptors like Phidias and poets like Sophocles. Then, the untimely death of his father, a wealthy sword maker, made him wonder about his destiny. It was at that time when he witnessed his first evidence of corruption and exploitation. His uncles, Aphobos and Demophon, cleverly swindled away his inheritance, his father’s sword factory. But a leader shapes their future with the story they tell themselves. He used the cards that were dealt against him in his favor. He began his quest to learn the law and began to pour over the speeches of Pericles and Themistocles. Although he had a speech impediment he didn’t use that as an excuse. He filled his mouth with smooth round pebbles and attempted to speak. Slowly the phrases began to grow clear and distinct. He gradually developed his careeras a litigator and orator. From those early experiences he committed his life to the preservation of freedom and became one of the most influential men in all of Athens. You see leadership comes from the most unusual circumstances.
Each of us can use our situation as an excuse to lose or a reason to grow. Demosthenes recognized the truth and did not stand for the status quo. There is something to be said for leadership. A leader cannot tolerate the status quo when it is corrupt and controlled by manipulators and exploiters. As it turns out Demosthenes witnessed the Five Laws of Decline first hand as politicians began to sell their city - states to Phillip of Macedon. Philip was building a mighty navy preparing to conquer the world and began to influence the wealthy landowners and politicians to sell out. Demosthenes took his case directly to the market place where he described the scenario that was getting ready to take place. “Which of you citizen’s are ready to give their freedom up to the encroaching power of Macedonia?”
I don’t know about all of you but the more I read Orrin Woodward’s short blog articles about his up and coming book the Duties of Society, the more I am getting fired up. As a systems genius he already co wrote the book Leadershift with Oliver DeMille where the authors systematically describe how freedom is being lost. They describe the Five Laws of Decline for anyone who is witnessing the gradual loss of freedom but don’t quite know why or how it’s happening. Anyone who cares about freedom’s future should read the blog articles closely as Orrin releases them. The future of freedom is at stake. Unlike popular theory, freedom will not be lost from a mass invasion like Philip of Macedon. The loss of freedom will be like the ‘frogs boiling in water’ where the people will hardly notice as the agenda of a small group of elites who exploit freedom takes shape.
However, be aware that there has always been a group committed to the preservation of freedom. LIFE Leadershiphas produced the Freedom subscription for the group who wants to gain a deeper insight into those issues. There are those who read between the lines of what the popular media pundits and politicians would have us believe. Orrin Woodward is a type of Demosthenes.  Like most leaders who are recognized throughout history, Demosthenes initially didn’t think he was a leader. Many leaders throughout history didn’t look like leaders when they began but they were born into the times at hand. You see, leaders recognize the times and detect a call or a purpose, if you will. If the loss of freedom is wrong, a leader will stand to change the circumstances. They have to be involved in resisting the drift toward bondage. Freedom will always be that way. Freedom will always attract those who inherently detect those who have an agenda against it. Leaders throughout history have always taken a stand to preserve our ‘inalienable’ rights.
The repression of freedom and the Five Laws of Decline can be found throughout history. Historians from Livy to Macaulay site the fall of the Roman Empire from those who created special deals. Business was disrupted, wealth was redistributed, taxes were increased, and the currency was devalued. The handbook written by Cicero’s brother sites “bribery and lavish promises.” Under Marcus Aurelius, the state came close to bankruptcy. In 1716 John Law persuaded the French Regent that he could restore French industry from the depression caused by the extravagance and corruption of Louis XIV by starting to issue notes. The Regent effectively became the Royal Bank of France. At the end of the ‘Reign of Terror’ Dickson White wrote, “To cure a disease temporarily in its character, a corrosive poison was administered, which ate out the vitals of French prosperity… It ended in thecomplete financial, moral and political prostration of France."
Leaders who confront exploiters of freedom can be found throughout history. A few Biblical examples occurred, one at the end of Solomon’s reign when Jeroboam approached Rehoboam because the people’s freedom had been lost since the kingdom of David. “Your father has put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”  Another example is when Jesus turned over the temple tables from those seeking to take advantage of manipulating the currency. Merchants had subtly worked their way into the temple. They set up money changing booths. People from all over the known world came to Jerusalem to worship God. The money - changers sold sacrificial animals like pigeons and such at high prices. They exchanged all international currency for the “special temple coins” – the only money the exchangers would accept. In essence they created a special deal similar to what we are seeing today. Demosthenes called for an alliance with Sparta and Thebes but was unable to prevent Alexander the Great from plundering Greece after the death of Philip his father. More than three hundred years before Christ, Demosthenes, an Athenian patriot stood in the town square and voiced the eternal battle cry of Freedom, “We must unite or perish.” We don’t need to unite in a battle line today, yet. Today we need to unite in a leadership revolution. Today we need to learn how to uphold the principles of freedom. 
God Bless, George Guzzardo