Thursday, November 20, 2008

So Where Are We?

So, where are we?

"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 lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from great 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 into bondage."
Alexander Fraser Tyler - Cycle of Democracy (1770)

(copied from another great Catholic Mom blog)

1 comment:

Laura K (NC) said...

Robert's ancient history book made the same observation about the ancient chinese dynasties. Those were hereditary, but the principle was still the same. A good king takes over, his sons become more complacent, then more corrupt, and then a good king takes over. His sons, generation by generation, become more compacent and corrupt, and the cycle keeps going, so that each dynasty in China was a new moral and political beginning.

I don't know where we are in the cycle. Abortion and slavery are being equated more than ever. The dynasty of the United States almost ended with the slavery issue. I wonder if we will make it out of danger this time. The Civil War was a battle of spirited selfishness, I think. I don't know if we're as spirited now; we might have already fallen into complacency. If we've passed that benchmark, it might well be more difficult to turn this train around.