The Four Lost American Ideals is an hour-long recorded lecture that can be purchased either as an audio CD here for $11.99 or MP3 download here for $4.99.
Click here to listen to an excerpt from the lecture.
Oliver DeMille draws from intensive study of the Founding generation to identify five defining ideals of Americanism:
- Public Virtue
Although the first, freedom, has not yet been fully lost, it is steadily declining because of the loss of the other four. These four ideals permeated early American society but have largely been forgotten.
The word “georgics” comes from the Greek “geo,” meaning earth, and “ergon,” meaning work. The literal translation, therefore, means to work, or farm the earth.
Translated to fit modern times, the essence of the word is “ownership.”
America was built on the backs of free and independent owners. The more owners we have, the more freedom we enjoy, and vice versa.
(*Note that Oliver inadvertently misspoke during the lecture and says the word “georgics” comes from the Latin.)
There are two aspects to the concept of providence: 1) there is a Higher Power, or God, and 2) God has a specific purpose — or mission — for every individual.
Those who believe in and submit to providence live virtuous and courageous lives of service and leave legacies. They work with passion and purpose. They live by design, rather than default.
“Liber” is a Latin word for tree bark. It’s also the root word of “library” and “liberty,” revealing the relationship between knowledge and freedom.
In the ancient world tree bark used to write on, and there were generally two groups of people: slaves and liber. To be “liber” meant that one could read, write and engage in contract.
Liber means much more than mere literacy — it means that you have the ability to think, learn and lead. It means being able to engage with the greatest thinkers, respond intelligently, and practically apply knowledge to improve the world.
Public virtue means to voluntarily sacrifice personal benefit for the good of society.
Those who have lived the first three ideals (liberally educated owners engaged in personal mission) can apply public virtue to transform society when it matters most.
In addition to learning the depths of these four lost ideals, when you purchase the lecture you’ll also learn the following:
- What common citizens did to prepare for America’s founding
- What it truly means to be an “American” and the formula for becoming one
- The three types of society, as outlined by Montesquieu
- What America’s national character is and why it matters
- The fundamental issue in the famous debate between Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton
- The three types of education and how only one can restore the four lost ideals
- How the outcome of the Revolutionary War depended on one, largely-unknown man
- What Jefferson sacrificed by writing the Declaration of Independence
“How could I have grown up ignorant of these ideals that are so crucial to perpetuating freedom and happiness? Ironically, it is the loss of these very ideals that created that ignorance. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, but that does not exempt you from the consequences of that ignorance.
“This is by far the most enlightening, inspirational and life-changing lecture I have ever heard in a nonreligious setting. I have never been the same since. Greatness resides in each of us and each of us has our part to play. Undoubtedly, our part includes a return to these foundational ideals that made America great.” -Janiece Sloan
“Listening to this lecture was part of my awakening to the need for an American Renaissance.
“Oliver DeMille digs past the commonly discussed ideal of freedom, to four additional ideals that are both common sense and deep at the same time. He provides sensible principles and solutions — paths to improve ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country.” -Sean Elcock
“Being involved in my community on many levels I am constantly meeting people who realize there is something missing in society but, they’re not sure exactly what we have lost. I give them a copy of ‘The 4 Lost American Ideals’ and ask them to come back and tell me what they think.
“People are hungry for direction on what to do, and this recording is a wonderful introduction to the need for Leadership Education for themselves and especially for the children in their lives.” -Ann Agent
“The ideas Oliver DeMille teaches about freedom and America are thorough and refreshing. Once again he has hit the nail on the head in this inspiring and timely speech.” -Cathy Ford
“As a Canadian citizen, I found DeMille’s message completely relevant to me here. Listening to this presentation (especially over and over again) has helped us shift away from some of the numbing effects of living in a liberal socialist country and into greater personal accountability.
“In other words, it helped restore our drive to build and create the future rather than expecting or even easing into the idea that the government provides all.” -Heather Burton
“This fantastic and inspiring lecture on America helps put our Americanism in perspective, and brings boiling to the surface the feelings of real American thought. Oliver DeMille has a way of helping you reach deep within and pull the desires of liberty to the forefront in a way that moves you to action.
“After first being introduced to the thinking of Oliver DeMille, my husband and I set out to become independents, rather than dependents, sought learning and education to become liber, have recognized the need for public virtue, and thank the hand of God consistently for helping us find our own personal mission in this life.
“I recommend this lecture to everyone, especially youth.” -Jacqueline Smith
“Thank you Oliver for clarifying the full meaning of ‘provident.’ It has been a word that I love and use regularly. ‘The Four Lost American Ideals’ has moving me to tears of gratitude for the sacrifices of the founders.
“I also found a strength in my own talents and interests as a ‘plain, ordinary person.’ I am now more excited and renewed in my efforts to become my mission and want all eight of my children to listen to ‘The Four Lost American Ideals.’” -Kristine Farley
“As usual, DeMille has made me think deeper about a subject I thought I had a grasp on, and has given me a leaping off point for my own research. My husband and I have stumbled across several of these ideals independent of each other with no apparent connection. It was nice to have them so concisely put into a congruous train of thought.” -Jenn Young
“We love this audio and think it is a must-hear. We like listening to it in the car. Our daughter shares it with her guy friends as a sort of litmus test. It provides much to think about and talk about.” -Vivian Milius
“After hearing this presentation, being patriotic took on new meaning. It truly spoke to my core. I share it with everyone. If you are feeling powerless or confused about what can be done to help things go right in these times of struggle, listen and commit to be American!” -Natalie Larsen
“This lecture was such a learning experience for me. My own feelings of self-sufficiency and independence have literally been awakened through ideas I had never thought of before in exactly this way. Thanks for the great history lesson.” -Jill Cohen
“The virtues of the great people of this talk will inspire you to look into your own soul and ask the questions that only you have the answers to.” -Jason Abbott
About Oliver DeMille
He has taught graduate courses on the complete writings of Thomas Jefferson, The Federalist Papers, Aristotle’s Politics and other great classics of liberty.
Oliver is a popular keynote speaker, writer and business consultant. Presently, he is active as a founding partner with The Center for Social Leadership and he devotes a majority of his time to writing.
Oliver is married to the former Rachel Pinegar. They have eight children.