On the Devolution of Democracy

“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.

“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:
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.”

Alexander Tyler, Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh, 1787. Tyler wrote this at about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution; referring to “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” (the world’s first democratic nation) some 2,000 years prior.

I’m not sure about the 200 year on average point. My studies would put it more like 300 to 400 years. But I don’t want to quibble…


8 thoughts on “On the Devolution of Democracy

  1. I think many American women feel like they are slipping back into bondage right now. Hopefully we have not become too complacent to fight back…

    • I’m talking about what seems to be the eroding of women’s rights by the right (and its not a slow erosion, it’s happening now and its happening fast).

      Setting up a congressional panel on birth control that practically has a “no gurlz allowed sign” hung on the table. The same thing happened previously when another panel reviewed partial birth abortions (how anyone feels about abortion isn’t terribly relevant, the point is watching a bunch of men sit around discussing what reproductive rights women are allowed to have while intentionally omitting women is kind of scary).

      Personhood amendments that require internal ultrasounds (so rape victims who don’t want to have their rapist’s baby can relive the fun with a government mandated vaginal ultrasound – although there has been a temporary victory in Virginia over the last two days on that one) I believe Oklahoma is next.

      Personhood amendments that would allow a women to die or suffer massive organ damage rather than remove (for example) an ectopic pregnancy (with 0 chance of the baby’s survival in any case).

      Female soldiers being blamed for their own rapes because they joined the military.

      The list kind of goes on and on. Santorum seems to be forefront of the “lets return to the fifties” movement but the whole thing is scaring A LOT of women (and I’m not just talking democrats here).

      • Ok, first of all, your Canadian? Right? So, why do you care what we misguided yankees do our don’t do down here in the benighted USA?
        That said, you are just regurgitating the talking points of the Democrat Party; which is doing its wicked-best to obfuscate what is really going on.
        There was no congressional panel on birth control. Zip, zero, nada. Didn’t happen.
        What you are referring to, I suspect, is a congressional hearing concerning the Obama mandate that Catholic-run businesses had to provide free birth control to female employees as part of their health care plan. Despite that it is against their religious principles to do so…
        The panel allowed both the Republicans and Democrats to call whoever they wanted. The Republicans called various religious leaders from the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faith. A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi.
        The Democrats? They called a college kid.
        I kid you not. A college kid to testify about how painfull yada yada yada ad nausem. That’s because the Democrats want to twist this into a discussion about a women’s right to contraception… Not what is was intended to be and is: a religious freedom issue.
        That there were no women on the witness panel, is because the religious leaders called were men. Discussing religious freedom, and government infringement, and matters of conscious.
        This has NOTHING to do with a woman’s right. It has EVERYTHING to do with Obama putting his foot in it; and picking a fight with the world’s largest church. So the Obama apologists are desperate to change the subject.
        Don’t know what your talking about, with “Personhood Amendments”. I suspect that you are confused, as with the above matter.
        You know, none of this has anything to do with the post it is attached to. So, what, you just felt like venting on an unrelated topic??

  2. *Sigh*

    Okay, first of all, as a women I am deeply concerned about womens rights everywhere. Ideologies don’t stop at borders, they leak and even if they didn’t, it still wouldn’t be right to ignore them. If at any point you’d like to discuss womens issues in Africa, the Middle East, Asia or even Canada I could and I would. I didn’t here because it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the post, American rights seemed more appropriate.

    As for me pushing an agenda that has nothing to do with your post. Doesn’t it have everything to do with your post? Wasn’t it the errosion of freedom due to complacency that you were talking about? So I started talking about the movement of the Right Wing to take away very hard won rights that American women have now, but are in danger of losing because we (and by we I mean women) aren’t fighting back hard enough.

    I’m not even sort of confused about “personhood amendments”. They aren’t federal, so that might be part of your confusion. They are clearly going against Roe V. Wade and there’s no possibility of them standing up in supreme court, and the people initiating them know that. What is being attempted is to bring attention to the subject so it can lay the foundation of reopening Roe v. Wade.

    Also, I don’t consider myself left-wing and as a non-American I’m certainly not a democrat but the compromise the Obama Admin came to on birth control seemed pretty reasonable. This way the church doesn’t have pay for birth control. Honestly, what’s the problem? The one left-wing talking point I will throw in: Why hasn’t the Catholic church banned viagra for single men?

    • Court docs from the Nevada Personhood Amendment, just so you know I`m not making this whole thing up, plus it`s been a huge deal over the last week in Virginia and like I said before, Oklahoma is coming up right away:


      The people behind the amendment wanted it put on a ballot, with only their talking points, Judge James E. Wilson said that the truth must be clarified and said the following language must be added so as not to deceive the public:

      The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the woman’s health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the “pill;” and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.

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