Two Quotes And An Article

I have come across this quote twice recently and wanted to pass it along to whomever is still reading this blog.  Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish jurist and historian, wrote about the fall of the Athenian Republic over 200 years ago.  In his writing, he noted this:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred 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 dependence; from dependency back again into bondage.

I think we are moving from apathy to dependence.  For years growing numbers of individuals have become dependent on the government for food and health care and housing.  Now, major businesses are depending on the government to bail them out when they make foolish decisions.  If someone who so openly favors redistribution of wealth becomes President of the United States, we will quickly move from dependence to bondage.  If Obama does not win, but the attitudes of so many in our country stay the same, we will only hold the bondage stage of the sequence at bay until another Presidential election.  

The next quote for your consideration is something President Gerald Ford said.  I have also seen it several times recently.

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Finally, I read both of these quotes and a great many other profound thoughts in an article by Terry Paulson tonight.  His writing regularly appears at   This one is called “Democracies Die When Liberty Gives Way To Dependence, and you can find it here.



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8 responses to “Two Quotes And An Article

  1. I agree! I heard that first quote recently, and thought, “we are there.” If we want the government to be able to do all the things we want it to do, we’re going to have to be willing to give it money to do those things. We shouldn’t be voting for politicians because they promise lower taxes.

  2. Lisa, not sure I understand what you’re saying. 🙂 I don’t want the government to be able to do all the things people are wanting it to do. I don’t think that was the original plan for this country. I’d rather not live in a socialist country.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with this post! My pastor recently said that government can give us nothing which it has not first taken from us.

    I believe we are well on our way to quickly losing the liberties we have remaining – all for a handout.

  4. I’d rather not live in a socialist country either…

  5. Oh sorry, I didn’t mean I was hoping for a more socialist government. I was just agreeing with the quote about loose fiscal policies. The American people are too focused on getting our tax breaks. Never mind the ramblings. 🙂 I think we’re on the downward slope of the sequence: “from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage.” And it’s incredibly interesting that that was written so long ago!

  6. 🙂 Lisa, OK. We agree then. hee hee

    I need to come read your blog and catch up.

  7. Wendy

    A bit behind in my weighing in here, usually I just lurk. I was reading that first quote and it made me realize that it maybe shouldn’t end with bondage – because it doesn’t. God continues to work. Out of bondage comes spiritual faith. Oh that we could get back there as a country with out it but I’m not sure that we can. God does move, but we are to comfortable to listen. If His ultimate purpose for us is holiness not comfort than where does that take us? Hard to think about but reminds us that God has not abandoned us – He wants what is best for us.
    Sorry for the book. I enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Wendy, thank you so much for your comment! I think you are exactly right. Often, we must move into bondage in order to turn back to the Lord. (Just as Israel in the Old Testament!)

    I have several comments to make, so I think I may just write a new post. 🙂

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