by Dennis Peacocke
The foundational principles of any human institution, culture, or nation, are the most important thing for the leaders to both teach, re-enforce, and defend. If the foundations are weakened or destroyed, all that rests upon them collapses and must be re-built. We live in such a historical moment when the very foundations of western culture as we have known them are at risk.
While many could argue what exactly those most critical foundational principles are, I would like to put forward seven of them:
1. Strong cultures have a clear hierarchy of values that hold the majority of citizens together. If the culture or the nation is unclear about exactly what their hierarchy of core values or principles are, the nation will fracture, the people will be confused, and all existing social structuring will move into decay.
2. The family unit is the basic training place for socialization skills in any nation. If the family is broken, dysfunctional, or at odds with the core values of the surrounding culture, it will produce marginalized people.
3. If the gifted and innovators of the culture are de-energized by prohibitive taxation, severe social disapproval, or scape-goated for their “unfair” success, the loss of their creative energy will stall the entire culture and send it into steady decline.
4. That which is owned by everybody is actually not owned by anyone. Private responsibility will, in the long run, always trump collective ownership.
5. Focus on the “rights” of the general population and minimize individual’s personal responsibilities, and you will create an entitlement-based culture that fragments into waring factions. Personal responsibility promotes the building of character and culture.
6. A well-informed public which manifests local community involvement is the clearest sign of a healthy political culture. When a nation focuses on centralism, it is headed for wide-spread political and social apathy.
7. The culture’s philosophy of power is the single most important determinant of where it is going. If power is a position sought for personal advantage rather than to serve and empower the well-being of others, only those least qualified to have power will overwhelmingly have it. Power doesn’t corrupt; it reveals one’s true motives.
So who and what is digging under your house and your life? How many of these seven issues are you clear on in terms of their truth or lack thereof? What are you doing to promote the ones you believe in rather than “just believing in them?” I both hear and see those digging around my house and am motivated to change it. Strategic action is always…..the bottom line.