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Democracy -
& the Fall of the Athenian Republic

Alexander Tyler & James Olson

[COMMENT:  Rome was a republic, but not Athens, which was trying to be a democracy.  But, like Rome, they could not get out of the mutual violence and civil war syndrome, and ultimately collapsed.  See also story of Davy Crockett.

This reminds me of the saying:  "Spiritual renewal brought forth Prosperity, and the daughter killed the mother...."  

NOTE:  Here are two critiques of this article.  Make of them what you think best.  The Snopes article critiques some factual matter and may be correct.  But the substance of this below stands, I think, i.e., the cycle of cultures in a Fallen world.   Ditto for the second critique.    1. http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/tyler.asp  and
2. http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html         E. Fox]

Subject: Alexander Tyler, about the fall of the Athenian Republic --
As received from a reader -

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
2000 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 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 living off government welfare..."
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency
& 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.

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