This is one of the few articles which are not one of my own compositions. According to the following view, democracies must all eventually self destruct. I’m not at all sure I agree! But it certainly makes for interesting discussion and the sequence listed here aptly describes what happened to the Roman Empire. The author is unknown.
[Parts of the following article and quotations have been floating around the internet for quite a while. The ideas have been variously ascribed to a Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University as well as a Scottish historian, Professor Tytler, who lived in the late 1700’s. However, as it turns out, neither of these men actually wrote any of this. But I still like the article and decided to put it up anyway. For more info see link at snopes]
Progressive Decline of Democracies
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess [gifts and benefits] out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. [Note: Rome actually lasted 500 years as an empire, and really almost 1000 years as first monarchy, then republic (what the U.S. is), then Empire.]
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 complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage
Though the stages above are intended for democracies, republics, and other free societies, such as England’s constitutional monarchy, the above progression can be clearly seen in the changes that occurred not only in ancient Rome’s republic, but also in the decline of the empire, too, until it’s complete collapse in 476 AD.