Lifespan of a Democracy/Republic

by Steve Ray on March 16, 2006

The United States is a Republic – but I think you will get the point!

How Long Do We Have?

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 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:

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, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000
Presidential election:

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

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

States won by: Gore: 19 Bush: 29

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 tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare…"

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and 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.

Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ultima June 30, 2007 at 11:38 AM

Much of what you cite seems to be bogus according to Snopes. What is the source of your quote from Tyler[sic]? Professor Olson denies ever having written or stated the data you attribute to him. Do you have a reference for either of these — Tytler or Olson?

Steve Ray June 30, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Give me a link to the site and I will look into it. I posted this from other “reliable” sources.

Joe Frechen April 9, 2008 at 7:39 AM

Snopes has its own issues and generates many of its own urban legends. Snopes needs to be cross referenced as much as any other “reliable” site.

John King November 9, 2008 at 10:38 AM

By the premise of Mr. Tytler (or someone else), apathy is an ultimate product of a democracy.

The line of reason described here would suggest that democracy ultimately creates apathy, which in turn creates dependence.

If the statement above is true to Mr. Tytlers premise, then among the sources of apathy would be democracy.

If someone insists that democracy does not lead to apathy and dependence, then this violates the basic premise, and an alternative proposal would be needed.

The author suggests education, to “Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake”, as the means to violate the premise of Mr. Tytler.

I suggest that a testament of mankind’s greed and lust for power, includes his creative and innovative capacity to circumvent order and logic and knowledge.

A solution to the problem should an higher power, an ultimate authority, under whose hand this shall fall.

Education of the people to the inherent dangers of mankind is desireable, but the ultimate resolution of “freedom” is in God’s hand, and the priority would seem to be sure that people are taught about God and Jesus, our savior from the evil in the world.

Pray that God’s hand will defeat the desires of those who wish to lead us into the bondage of sin and apathy and dependence.

Rebuke those who prey on those who are weak.

Spread the Word!!!!

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