Monday, October 13, 2008

Complacency and Apathy, are you ready for DEPENDENCY?

About the time our original thirteen 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 Athenian Republic some 2000 years earlier: “A democracy is always temporary in nature: it simply cannot exist as a pemanent form of government.”

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

“From that moment on, the majority always vote 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 world’s greatist civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.”

“During those 200 years, those 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 complacence to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage

Professor Joseph Olsen of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 presidential election:

a.. Number of states won by: Gore: 19; Bush: 29
b.. Square miles of land won by Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000
c.. Population of counties won by Gore: 127 million; Bush 143 million
d.. Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties by Gore:13.2; Bush 2.1

Professor Olsen adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country.

Olsen believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some 40% of the nations population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting, VN8. Especially the appraisal of where we in the United States are on the scale.

When the media gets Obama elected, we'll get to see quite a bit more of the apathy phase for certain!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is an old piece of chain mail floating around since the 2000 election. While some of the stats are true (i.e. population of counties), a lot of it is just plain wrong or distorted (i.e. murder rate). And there was no Alexander Tyler. There was an Alexander Fraser Tytler (, and the quotation about democracy has not been attributed to him. In fact, he died in 1813, and these quotes have been traced to the 1950s. Professor Olson of Hamline, not Hemline, University law school does exist, but as he says on his website (, the quotation was made up and wrongly attributed to him. Professor Olson traced the quote back to a Sheriff Jay Printz of Montana, but the sheriff said that he got it over e-mail and does not know who authored it.

So anyway, the point is that while there is plenty of very legitimate theory and philosophy about the structure of democracy, most of this e-mail is bogus.

Here is Snope's analysis on the e-mail:

Hopefully the Republicans will have a stronger team next time. Too bad McCain went from moderate to extreme right wing and then chose a clueless running mate. It also didn't help to have President Bush supporting them with the lowest approval ratings since Herbert Hoover.

Barack Obama is our president now, and it's time to do everything we can to support him and America through these tough times.

Anonymous said...

Snope's is bogus...husband and wife sitting at a computer claiming to know everything...

Who said it, Tyler, Tytler, Snoopy, Jack Daniels, etc. isn't important. The exact stats aren't important.

What was said is important.

GI Joe