In his 2008 book, The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel writes a compelling story suggesting that if you want a good view of the United States 15 or 20 years from now, take a look at Europe.
More to the point are disturbing news reports that demonstrate spooky similarities to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, being played out in France as you read this. Watch this Video.
Recent proclamations and “business as usual” from Congress and the Executive branch are providing more than ample evidence that American political leadership is following in the footsteps of France’s “Shrug,” and rushing with all its might to catchup with, and indeed overtake Europe in the race to fulfill some anti-Randian ideal.
In spite of it all, Monticello College remains dedicated to the proposition that the Unites States is a nation watched over by Providence, and that although she seems to have stumbled, America can be great again.
We are doing all that we are physically capable of to provide leadership and accountability to that end. Part of that effort is the debt-free building of our campus in Monticello, UT. Thanks to many of you, we reached our 2013 funding goal of $2,500 per month.
Our new funding goal or Phase Two of our building campaign is to secure 350 individuals or families who support Monticello College and are willing to donate $25 per month for 6 months.
Phase two is the build-out phase where we will develop facilities for summer programs and large group events and prepare for our first cohort of on campus students. The funding goal for phase two is to raise $300,000. Step one of this goal is to reach $50,000 so we can begin construction by June 1, 2014.
Again, we need 350 individuals or families to contribute $25 per month for the next 6 months. We, of course, will gratefully accept any donation that you can offer.
Will you help us?
Will you be part of the re-building of our country?
To donate or for more info click below:
At regular intervals during undergraduate enrollment, a Monticello College mentor takes time to talk about the future. What will you be doing after graduation? What is your mission? Do you plan to have a family? How will you fulfill that mission while providing for your family? This necessarily leads to a great discussion. All students are counseled that in order to be effective as future statesmen, they each need to build two towers; a family and an institution.
Tower One: Families
Our very nature as human beings dictates that we gravitate toward the family environment. Our greatest happiness comes only through and within the bonds of a loving and nurturing family. Students are encouraged to plan for a family focusing on preparing first to be a loving and caring spouse, and second, to plan a family and prepare to serve as protective and nurturing parents.
Tower Two: Institution
All students are encouraged to contribute to society by means of developing an institution. This may be a for-profit or not-for-profit corporation. It might be some sort of social entrepreneurial organization or they may decide to make a contribution in an intrapreneurial manner. Regardless the method, all students are exposed to the abundance philosophy and encouraged to make their mark in the world, to do more than just earn a good living. In order to be successful in creating an institution, students must embrace the two elements required for true prosperity: the concepts of abundance and producers.
An abundance mentality is one that is rare in society today. Most people are concerned that there is a finite amount of whatever it is that they want and that they must spend their lives scratching out their meager portion. Abundance mentality assumes just the opposite. It declares that there is more than enough of all material, spiritual, and emotional goodness and that although one must decide and work for what they want, there is always enough and to spare.
Prosperity and abundance in a society depend on a certain type of person: the producer. Societies with few producers stagnate and decay, while nations with a large number of producers vibrantly grow—in wealth, freedom, power, influence, and the pursuit of happiness. Producers think in terms of abundance rather than scarcity, take initiative instead of waiting for someone else to provide them with opportunity, and faithfully take wise risks instead of fearfully believing that they can’t make a difference.
In contrast, non-producers provide very little leadership in society and cause more than a majority of the problems. In history, as Jefferson put it, producers are the most valuable citizens. Of course, he was speaking directly of farmers, but the principle applies to all those who add significant value to society. Non-producers consume the value that is added to society, but they create little value.
But who are the producers? Fortune 500 executives include themselves in this category and so do small business owners in their first month of operation. Successful investors call themselves producers as do unsuccessful day traders who claim that they just “haven’t had their lucky break yet.” Clearly, just calling yourself a producer doesn’t make you one. In fact, there are at least five types of producers, and each type is vital to a successful civilization. Each of the five creates incredible value, though the currency of the value is not always identical.
Without any of the five types, no society succeeds and grows. When all five are creating sufficient value, no society has ever failed. Producers are needed—all five types.
Click Here To Read The Remainder Of This Article (Go to Chapter Two: Section Four)
Whether you support it or not, the recent dispute over the Second Amendment has the makings of a serious controversy in coming days.
With the current refusal of as many as 300,000 Connecticut gun owners who legally possess rifles that have just now become illegal in that state, we are witnessing a profound example of civil disobedience.
The amendment in question states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
In the 2008 Supreme Court case of D.C. v Heller, it would seem that this issue had finally been put to bed, but the debate rages on. The final paragraph of the majority opinion of the Court concerning D.C. v Heller delivered by Justice Scalia makes their ruling clear:
We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26.
But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.
Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
Here is a chance for all citizens, regardless your politics, to become informed and stand for something. For more information on this topic I recommend the following:
And the following opinions in these links:
In January, I attended a convention where one of the featured speakers was my friend, Stephen Palmer.
Steve’s bio is at the end of this post, but what I want you to know is that Steve actually believes and lives what he says. I hope Steve and Karina won’t mind too much if I get a little personal.
I watched as he and his family tried their hand at business and fell flat on their faces. I have had painful conversations with Steve when he was in the depths of misery, and I have watched in amazement as he pulled himself up out of the ashes to become a New York Times best-selling author and world-class speaker.
I share this bit of transformation to communicate the idea that growth and mission are painful.
But every one of these stories is a story of liberty, of financial freedom, of political autonomy, of successful mission.
Every one of the stories I could tell here, including Steve and Karina’s story, is a story of triumph against terrible odds, a story that could have ended in mediocrity and “settling,” but only due to the belief in something better, progressed into a story of endurance, perseverance, and unusual optimism.
It is with this intro that I ask you to take the next 20 minutes and watch this video:
Stephen Palmer is an idealist, truth-seeker, lover of liberty, writer, and the author of Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America
He has a burning belief in the power of the human spirit — our ability to transcend circumstances and achieve greatness through choice. That belief drives him to strive for virtue and excellence in his own life, and to do all in his power to uplift and inspire others.
He co-authored, with Garrett Gunderson, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Businessweek, and Amazon bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity. He also co-authored, with Kris Krohn, The Conscious Creator: Six Laws for Manifesting Your Masterpiece Life, as well as Hub Mentality: Shifting from Business Transactions to Community Interactions with Carl Woolston.
A dedicated learner and promoter of personal, financial, and governmental freedom, Stephen is passionate about political philosophy, economics, history, personal finance, entrepreneurship, religion and spirituality, family, education and culture. (See his favorite books and movies.)
He graduated from a liberal arts college where he was mentored by Oliver DeMille. He’s also been privileged to be mentored by Steve D’Annunzio. He is also a graduate and faculty member of Wizard Academy, a “non-traditional business school” with an emphasis on the art and science of persuasive communication.
He and his wife Karina are raising their four kids in southern Utah. When he’s not writing or spending time with his family, you’ll find him reading, canyoneering in Zion National Park, gardening, or playing basketball.
56 year-old Rivik Ranadivé is an Indian businessman, engineer, author, speaker and philanthropist. Ranadivé is the founder and CEO of TIBCO, a multi-billion dollar real-timing computing company, and is credited with digitizing Wall Street in the 1980s with his first company, Teknekron Software Systems.
I’ve made it a lifelong habit to do things I know nothing about.
I’m a hardware engineer who started, and still runs, a billion-dollar software company.
I have a couple of degrees in engineering from MIT and a Harvard MBA.
So, if anyone is the poster child for a left-brained education, it’s me.
However, I still believe a liberal arts degree is more of an asset than learning any trade.
I believe this to be true for a handful of reasons.
Any job that can be outsourced eventually will be, from IT to back-office medical or financial work, for a fraction of the cost.
Also, whatever can be done by a computer will be done by a computer. The people who will succeed in more expensive labor markets like the U.S. will be those who can think creatively and generate the IDEAS that will propel economic growth. Such skills are best fostered in a traditional liberal arts environment.
If anything, I think we should make the liberal arts education more rigorous. If you teach students one trade, that skill might be obsolete in a few years. But if you teach people how to think and look at lots of information and connect dots – all skills that a classic liberal education gives you – you will thrive.
Here’s an example: 70-80% of software code is the infrastructure – bring this info from here, do this, do that – while only 20% is the actual application itself. If you build applications A and B, you will need to build a bridge for them to communicate with each other – it has to be a two-way bridge.
Then, if you build application C, you will need yet another bridge for A to communicate with C and for B to communicate with C. 90% of IT budget is used to maintain these lines of communication.
This type of left-brained thinking is like saying, every person that is born [in the US] speaks their own language, so everyone in the U.S. needs to learn 300 million languages to communicate with each other.
That is highly illogical. As a hardware engineer, I knew there was a component of the computer known as the information bus. You plug cards into it and communicate throughout the interface. I thought, knowing nothing about software, why can’t there be a software bus?
It’s the equivalent to saying, let’s all just speak English and not have to learn 300 million languages. This was my big idea – an example of out-of-the-box, right-brained thinking started my company and has helped me pay my bills.
On May 26, 2010, when the market cap of Apple beat the market cap of Microsoft, that was the day in history when the right brain finally beat the left brain. This is just the beginning of the right-brain revolution.