About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University 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 continue to 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 worlds 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, 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.
Another thing about democracy. Plato said (in the Republic) that "man is lazy, and doesn't want to inform himself" and therefore all democracies soon turn into plutocracies and then into dictatorships.
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." Benjamin Franklin
"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." Thomas Jefferson
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." James Madison
"America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and opperession of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society." Peter Kropotkin