Thursday, January 11, 2007


Some 300 plus odd years ago, British Professor Alexander Tyler, in examining the fall of the Athenian republic, had some words to say that bear a chilling note of warning to modern America.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have 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 selfishness,
from selfishness to complacency,
from complacency to apathy,
from apathy to dependency,
from dependency back to bondage."

We'll skip the fact that these United States of America are not even supposed to be a true democracy. Benjamin Franklin, that famous dead white guy who has been removed from public school text books to make room for the part played in the founding of this nation by handi-capped gay and lesbian cross-dressing Wiccans, said a pure democracy is nothing more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. We're supposed to be a republic, a representative or Constitutional republic. But don't bother trying to explain that to the man in the street; he's too busy getting home to pop a cold one and stare glassy-eyed at the television set.

At any rate, if Alexander Tyler's model of past fallen civilizations is accurate, I would place our modern US of A down there towards the bottom of the list, much closer to the fall than the rise. In my own personal opinion, I'd put us somewhere in the complacency-apathy-dependency timeline, currently in apathy slipping into total dependence.

In slogging through The Fall of the Roman Empire I can't help but notice many similarities between that great nation in its decline and our own at present. The Romans had bread and wine given out, we have the Welfare state and more government grants and hand-outs than you can shake a stick at. Rome had circuses and brutal spectacles of violence in the coliseum; we have 347 TV channels, most of which offer nothing of any value. Barbarians from the northlands took over the once mighty Roman Legions when their own people were too lazy and apathetic to man the ranks; we have an increasingly mongrelized "Army of Juan" in which individual soldiers can barely speak English and are funcationally illerate in the language.

As to Tyler's apathy-dependency-bondage timeline, I feel that's pretty obvious too. Even trying to get the people of this country out to vote shows the apathy. The vast welfare state and subsidy system shows the dependency. And the War on Terror, judicial activism and tyranny, the War on Drugs, government law enforcement abuses, the rash of meaningless litigation, eminent domain abuses, ponderous bureaucracies that absolutely refuse to do anything for the people they're supposed to be servants of, and such legislation as the Patriot Act show strong leanings towards bondage and dictatorship rather than what the Founding Fathers intended.

Paraphrasing good old Benny Franklin again, those who would give up their liberty for security deserve neither. Yet right at this moment we have politicos, some of them purporting themselves to be conservatives, calling for the "reigning in" of our Constitutional rights and liberties so we can "win" the War on Terror and be "secure" in our homes, at least until the government arbitrarily confiscates and razes said home because they can grab more tax revenue if they let a privrate contractor put up another strip mall.

I don't see any real allies in the fight to curb these abuses and the downhill slide towards bondage, either. The media is only worried about one tiny portion of the First Amendment concerning freedom of the press and actively campaign to destroy the Second Amendment, and pushes "Hate Speech" pogroms that effectively abolish freedom of speech. The ACLU's founder, Roger Baldwin, made no bones about his organization when he clearly stated, "Communism is the goal." Ask the residents of Stalin's gulags and mass graves how well that one works out. Even the NRA stands for only a single Amendment and, in my personal dealings with them, would seem to have become just another bloated inefficient bureaucracy that doesn't respond to its members, just like our government.

About the only way ideas and opinions that are not "officially" sanctioned can be disseminated these days is via the Internet. And mark my words, the government is at this moment desperately trying to figure out a way to get us Cyber heretics under their thumb, too.

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