Bread and Circuses is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. ... For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invaderthe barbarians enter Rome. ― Robert A. Heinlein
posted on 02/18/2019 6:20:47 PM PST
(Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
Comparisons with Rome are generally invalid, but I'll cut him some slack, because Heinlein wrote fiction. The Roman republic never had an elected legislative body. The bread dole supported as many as 400,000 in the city of Rome and lasted for centuries. The Empire itself began with its first conquest -- Ostia -- and continued through highs and lows into the mid-15th century. Astonishing how close that is to our own time, really.
posted on 02/18/2019 6:40:39 PM PST
(and btw -- https://www.gofundme.com/for-rotator-cuff-repair-surgery)
The number of eligible voters who choose not to vote in presidential elections have outnumbered the turnout of either political party for 100+ years.
The real way to ensure victory of the bread and circus party would to be require voter participation in order to receive any bread and circuses.
posted on 02/18/2019 6:43:07 PM PST
Similar thought from Sir Tytler:
The Scottish Jurist and Historian Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler published a collection of lectures in 1801. He advanced a theory of democracy based on historical observation: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until voters discover that they can vote themselves largesses from the public treasury. From that time on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
"The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this 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 again to bondage."
Was Sir Tytler correct? Where are we in Sir Tytler's progression?
posted on 02/18/2019 8:07:15 PM PST
(... to be right with God has often meant to be wrong with man. ~ Steve Schmutzer)
It is not only the lower classes who vote for the Band C. It is generally the economic and societal drones which includes a lot of wealthy unproductive scions and trust funders. It also includes productive people who made their money too fast and have no idea where it came from. It just fell out of the sky on them. It was so easy that poor people must be poor because other people are stealing all the manna.
posted on 02/19/2019 1:54:03 AM PST
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