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 Townhall.com. This one is called “Democracies Die When Liberty Gives Way To Dependence, and you can find it here.