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Democracy Is Always Temporary In Nature

Posted by | August 9th, 2009

“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 that 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”.

– Alexander Fraser Tytler

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5 thoughts on “Democracy Is Always Temporary In Nature

  1. markross Post author

    The stages of democracy by Alexander Fraser Tytler and/or Lord Thomas B. Macaulay:

    The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage.

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  2. markross Post author

    While the every day citizen can not vote generous gifts to themselves, directly from the national treasury, many have found, they can elect the representatives that will vote these gifts for them.

    And this seems to be a big part of the break down of our Republic in its current state.

    If big entitlement programs and such gifts were taken out of the electoral process, I would have to believe that people would begin to vote for the most responsible, and constitutionally respecting people that are running for office.

    If we are to save our current system of government, I do believe that a constitutional revival, and re-visiting our founding documents, would be a great start. Also, I would like to see thorough      constitutional tests be given to people seeking to run for office; I would also like to know that they are fiscally responsible before being given the powers to vote for legislation that utilizes millions of tax-payer dollars.

    As long as more gifts (entitlements) continue to be promised to voters, from the national treasury, I would have to believe, inevitably, we will end up bankrupt as a nation; at which point, only God knows what will become of us and our Republic.

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  3. yea

    That would all be fair and great if robber barons were not the ones really running things. They choose to crash the financial market in the US. They're taking this country to 3rd world status by design, they could stop all this is they wanted to, and they can create this if they want. That's how little people control their lives in the USA. The average person has dependence to the dollar … which these people create from thin air.

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  4. cn8of10

    I find this quote interesting, not only for its content but for the references within.  Alexander Fraser Tytler was born in Scotland in 1747 and died in 1813.

    "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that 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."

    By the time of his death, which democracies could he have studied to determine this pattern of events?  This would had to have been at least one example of a direct or representative democracy where the principle of majority rule was established that eventually failed due to failed fiscal policy as described.

    The pattern of (theortical or historical) events described does seem well-reasoned and consistent with human nature, however.

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