The Death of Democracy, Part One

The following quote is attributed to an historian, Sir Alexander Fraser Tyler, who lived over 200 years ago. He had studied ancient civilizations and this was his conclusion regarding democracy. Keep in mind, folks, this was written over 200 years ago:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with a result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence--
--From bondage to spiritual faith;
--From spiritual faith to great courage;
--From courage to liberty;
--From liberty to abundance;
--From abundance to selfishness;
--From selfishness to complacency;
--From complacency to apathy;
--From apathy to dependency;
--From dependency back into bondage."

Tyler's synopsis here is brilliant. There are legitimate reasons why some peoples (nations) rise to glory and power and others do not. They are basically the same for individuals. People who are honest, industrious, thrifty, virtuous, and responsible will succeed; those who are covetous, lazy, immoral, and shiftless will likely end up in poverty. No individual is perfect, nor are any peoples. But those who succeed must have certain qualities of character. And it is every bit as true--if not more so--for large bodies as it is for individuals.

We see in America today an almost classic case of the decline of a once great power, and it has largely happened in the last 100 years when we have become more "democratic." Keep in mind that women did not get the right to vote until 1920 (some states had given them the right earlier), and that the Voting Rights Act, opening the ballot to most minorities, was not passed until 1965. I'm not blaming women and blacks for the current economic disaster this country faces; I'm blaming democracy. Or better yet, the nature of man. There are too many people who, if given the option of either working or sponging off their neighbors, would rather do the latter. When was the last time you heard an American politician talk about a "virtuous, industrious, spiritual, frugal" citizenship? We do not hear such any more. What we hear are plans to "share the wealth," schemes to take from those who have earned and give to those who have not--"entitlements" they are euphemistically, and disgustingly, called, as if someone is "entitled" to the hard-earned money of somebody else.

But that's democracy, folks. Always has been. Sir Tyler nailed it because he knew history--the majority votes for the candidate(s) who will give them the most. A country will go bankrupt because of that. Can anyone NOT see modern America in this?

From bondage to spiritual faith to courage to liberty to abundance to selfishness to complacenty to apathy to dependency...back into bondage.

Where do you think America is now?

John Adams: "Remember, deomcracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a deomcracy yet that did not commit suicide." The United States is the strongest military power in the world. Like Rome, no outside nation will ever conquer us until we first destroy ourselves.

And we are awfully close to doing that.