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Author Topic: Democracy- How much longer?  (Read 2609 times)
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Dihannah1
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« on: October 18, 2007, 02:33:56 PM »

I recieved this via email and share.  Maybe, you've already seen it before, but Your thoughts?

HOW LONG DO WE HAVE?

This is the most interesting thing I've read in a long time. The sad
thing about it, you can see it coming.

I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to
see it in print. God help us, not that we deserve it.

How Long Do We Have?

About the time our original thirteen 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 earlier:

'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 vote 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, those 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 Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul,
Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000
Presidential election:

Number of States won by:
Gore: 19
Bush: 29

Square miles of land won by:
Gore: 580,000
Bush: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million

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 taxpaying citizens of this great
country.
Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in
government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government
welfare...' Olson believes the United State s is now somewhere between
the 'complacency and apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of
democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already
having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal
invaders called illegal and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the
USA in fewer than five years.

If you are in favor of this then delete this message if you are not then
Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake,
knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 11:42:49 PM »

I agree we are in the complacency to apathy stage.
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mrs. red
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 10:20:26 PM »

That was very interesting DiHannah... thank you for brining that in here...

I think we have lost a lot of our democracy for a long time... and we are almost past the apathy stage.. I think we were apathtic 20 years ago....

it worries me. 
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Author: Anatole
SteveDinMD
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 01:26:50 PM »

It's interesting to note that the Greek philosopher Plato concluded 2,400 years ago that democracy was an unsustainable form of government.  His reasoning, detailed in The Republic, was based on the fact that people act almost exclusively according to their self interest.  This being the case, voters will tend to elect those who promise them the greatest largesse.  For their part, candidates for office will aggressively compete for the opportunity to plunder the public treasury by outbidding one another in their attempts to buy votes.  Since human productivity is always outpaced by human greed, the electoral process will over time result in rulers having to draw their political support from ever smaller and more specialized constituencies and ignore the interests of ever larger segments of society.  Plato surmised that political evolution would naturally progress from democracy, to plutocracy, to oligarchy, to tyranny. 

Truly just and enlightened government, by Plato's reasoning, demands that those who wield power act exclusively in the interest of others, which is unnatural to the human condition.  His solution was to create a small class of selfless supermen, purposely disconnected from family or birthright affiliations and ruthlessly socialized to disdain wealth and crave honor in the service of the general good.  From this class would be drawn "philosopher kings" and inferior government officials who would govern the State completely indifferent to matters of fleeting public opinion and temptations to mis-rule.  Why would people, in Plato's view, submit to such authority?  They would do so out of self interest, for lack of anything better.  Thomas Hobbes presented a similar argument over 2,000 years later in Leviathan.  His central thesis in that work was that human beings would willingly submit to any government, no matter how tyrannical, rather than face an existence with no government, such was man's inability to survive without organization or structure.  Plato, by contrast, only argues that people would willingly embrace the best of all possible governments. 

Theories of government and of humans' capacity for self government have been fertile ground for discussion from the origins of philosophy.  Moreover, there is an extremely large body of experience to be drawn upon.  Over the 5000+ year course of human history, there have been few systems of government that have endured more than 200 to 300 years.  The U.S. founding fathers, themselves well schooled in classical philosophy, had serious misgivings about the long-term viability of the government they created, and resigned themselves to its likely impermanence.  What can we draw from all this?  We might conclude that the reasonable upper limit for the endurance of a system of government is approximately 10 generations.  Beyond this, its origins and underlying principles are too remote to be easily accessible to most of those who will have inherited it and upon whom its continued survival will depend.  Perhaps the best we can do is to properly educate succeeding generations, ensuring they are equipped with the essential tools of citizenship and thus hopefully forestalling the day of our collapse.  Sadly, we seem to be failing in this mission, much to our detriment. 
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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 10:05:31 PM »

Carnut taught me that the US is a Republic and not a Democracy.
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 10:10:19 PM »

Carnut taught me that the US is a Republic and not a Democracy.

You are correct.  From the wiki -

Quote
A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.


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All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

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they'll end up in your family anyway...
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