Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Interesting Item about Democracy

My cousin forwarded this today to me by e-mail. I don't know who the original author is (if anyone knows, please let me know) but I thought it was interesting, scary, and confirms what I've been feeling in my gut for some time now . . .
How Long Do We Have?

About the time our original 13 states adopted their newconstitution, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at theUniversity of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continueto exist up until the time that voters discover 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."

"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:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage"

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St.Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
1. Population of counties won by: Gore: 127 million; Bush: 143 million.
2. Square miles of land won by: Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000.
3. States won by: Gore: 19; Bush: 29.
4. Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Gore: 13.2; Bush: 2.1.

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements living off government welfare."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency & apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

On a final note, Professor Olson is just a tiny bit more optimistic than me -- I put us somewhere in the "apathy to dependence" phase!