Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Cycle of Democracy

Courtesy of, here's Dr. Alexander Tytler's analysis of the lifespan of democracies:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.

"From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this 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 apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into