Skip to comments.How Long Do We Have?
Posted on 09/15/2009 12:42:07 AM PDT by kingattax
About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage "
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
Population of counties won by: Gore: 127 million; Bush: 143 million; Square miles of land won by: Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000 States won by: Gore: 19 Bush: 29 Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by Gore: 13.2 Bush: 2.1
Professor Olson adds:
"In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements living off government welfare..." Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency & apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
Pass this along to help everyone realize that apathy is also one the greatest danger to our freedom.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the Presidential election:
Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29
Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2..1
Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory Republicans won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.
Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare...”
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
Interesting... I’ve never seen those 8 phases before. I wonder how well that applies to all democracies?
Sorry, I left out... Here’s another one I found after reading yours. Thanks
Well, it’s a good thing then, that we are a Republic and not a Democracy.
That word, ‘democracy’, never appears in either the Declaration of Independence or the U.S.Constitution.
Democracies only last until voters figure out how to vote themselves largesse out of the national treausury.
A republic, if you can keep it, seem to be hardier and hold up better.
Our King George isn’t across the Atlantic.
Step by Step Tyranny
I give us maybe 5 years. I’ve been thinking about posting a vanity thread about this, giving my opinion.
We should be using “Republic” way more offten, as in the Republic of Texas or your state, my state. Or the likes of Not in my Republic, Republic Conservatives, Republic Republicans.
Let the democrats claim the other.
I’d say we are at step 7, slipping from apathy into bondage.
Well I think today marks the first year of the beginning of bondage. How many trillions of dollars is this nation in debt? Those not yet born are in debt, that is bondage.
Some of us are rebuilding the Republic one American at a time.
Composed of two separate quotes pushed together, neither probably older than middle 20th century. Neither by the named author.
Doesn't necessarily invalidate the message, but accuracy is important.
I could also debate the specifics. For instance, are oligarchies or monarchies really less likely to fall due to loose fiscal policy? These forms of government are not likely to spend money on the same things, but are at least as likely to waste it. For instance, due to the ambition of those controlling the State oligarchies and monarchies are probably more prone to war, the fastest way to waste money ever invented.
What are the "great civilizations" it refers to and the dates of their start and end? Only then can one calculate an "average." China is arguably going on 3,000 years and still plugging along. Rome/Byzantium almost 2000 years.
Hmmmmm good read BTTT !
Originally were not only landowners able to vote? Maybe there was a good reason for this.
We’re not a democracy
We are a representative republic.
Why should people who don’t own property be able to vote for increases in property taxes?
Your tag line reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw years ago:
I’m not a bitch. I’m THE bitch. And it’s Ms. Bitch to you!
I like it ;-)
Lots of countries can and do claim to be "the world's oldest democracy," but each puts its own modifiers on the phrase.
Surely the Greeks developed the world's oldest city-state democracy, 2,500 years ago -- though it did not last so long. But it's reasons for failure were neither apathy nor dependence, but defeat in war.
Rome (never a democracy) was a kingdom for about 240 years, then a Republic for about 480 years, then Empire for another 500 years. Rome's republic was not overthrown by apathy or dependence, but by Civil War and ambitions of its leading citizens. And the Roman Senate continued to function, with limited powers, until the very end.
The Republic of Venice lasted over 1,000 years and did not fall to apathy or dependence, but rather to Napoleon, in 1797.
The Icelandic parliament, The All-thing, is over 1,000 years old.
The Six Nation Iroquois say their system of consensus government is over 800 years old.
Neither Britain nor the US are democracies, but each can claim to be "older" than the other, depending on how you define the terms. The elected British parliament dates from 1265, but would meet no modern definition of "universal suffrage," much less "sovereign power." So the early US republic was "more democratic" than Britain.
And so on...
When you look at all the history of democratic institutions, what causes them to fail is not so much "indifference," "apathy" or "dependence," but rather more mundane causes like:
However, I’d like to point out that the article referred to “great civilizations,” not “great democracies,” or even individual States.
Starting and ending dates of civilizations are inherently debatable, but Western Civ would seem to be at least 700 now and still chugging along, although getting a little ragged around the edges.
Funny how I missed that...
So his argument about "democracy" is bogus from the first word.
So, what does the author do?
He shifts the grounds from "democracy" to "the worlds greatest civilizations."
But to claim that "the worlds greatest civilizations" last only 200 years, on average, is just ludicrous.
Any number of "great civilizations" lasted far longer -- Ancient Egypt comes to mind.
So what are we to make of this argument?
I'd say, it's rubbish and nonsense, having nothing to do with historical fact, and everything to do with someone's fears for the future.
Indeed, I'm tempted to construct my own "sequence, from freedom to bondage," which might go something like this:
So where would this particular article fall? Maybe somewhere between "spin-meister" and "propagandist"?
Didn’t mean to get into a fight with you on this issue. I think we are in agreement.
The quotes in the article are from two different sources, as shown by the link in my post 16. The source of neither is clear, but unlikely to be much over 60 years old.
The first quote references “democracies,” and sets up the idea that democracies “always” fall due to loose fiscal policy.
The second quote refers to “civilizations,” and introduces the straw man 200 year average and sequence arguments.
We are indeed! Very sorry if it sounded like I suggested otherwise. Poor choice of words on my part. :-(
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