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Tytler

Home - by - November 7, 2012 - 23:29 America/New_York - 22 Comments

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising 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. Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.” -Alexander Tytler

» 22 Comments

  1. Troy

    November 7th, 2012

    Now that is sage, intellectual thought.
    I doubt he read that from a teleprompter.

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  2. Bad Brad

    November 7th, 2012

    But, but, but, were a Republic.

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  3. scr_north

    November 7th, 2012

    A prescient man. I’d only heard the part about losing a democracy not the steps involved. It is so accurate as to be scary how accurate he was.

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  4. well

    November 7th, 2012

    you were inspired by the de Tocqueville quote weren’t you

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  5. conservative cowgirl

    November 7th, 2012

    Well, we are right on track. It looks like we are right about to complete the “from dependence back again to bondage” part of his timeline.

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  6. norman einstein

    November 8th, 2012

    I’ve thought of this passage many times over the past couple of years or so, and desperately hoped that there were now enough intelligent people that the cycle could be broken, or at least suspended.

    Alas.

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  7. Toaster

    November 8th, 2012

    I thought this quote was originally from d Toqueville also.

    Part of me questions the results in light of Zero’s comments about “after I’m re-elected” to the Russians and various other indications that the fix was already in.

    Either way the net result is bad. There are going to be at least 3 SCOTUS justices appointed by the worst leftist this country has ever had in the executive branch. Various liberal crap will now be legally enshrined for many years.

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  8. MaryfromMarin

    November 8th, 2012

    The Left has been busily putting people into bondage for generations now. If you create dependency, those who are dependent upon you are in bondage just as much if they were in literal chains. The Left is creating a new slave class.

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  9. Mike

    November 8th, 2012

    But look on the bright side….. oh, sorry, never mind.

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  10. Blacksmith8✡

    November 8th, 2012

    And I’m supposed to disagree? How?
    Oh I get it
    USA! WOOT!
    We made 236 years before our first dictator.
    Yea US!

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  11. HeyTimmy

    November 8th, 2012

    Hate to add an element of truth to these spleen splitters, but this quote is fake:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler#cite_note-5

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  12. 4inchtoenails

    November 8th, 2012

    Being on the RIGHT, we MUST arm ourselves with truth. Misquotes don’t count…

    Misquotation – Tytler Cycle

    The following unverified quotation has been attributed to Tytler, most notably as part of a longer piece which began circulating on the Internet shortly after the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election.[12]

    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 world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following 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 complacency;
    •From complacency to apathy;
    •From apathy to dependence;
    •From dependence back into bondage.

    There is no reliable record of Alexander Tytler’s having made the statement.[12] In fact, this passage actually comprises two quotations, which didn’t begin to appear together until the 1970s. The first portion (italicized above) first appeared on December 9, 1951, [13] as part of what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson.[14] The original version from Peterson’s op-ed is as follows:

    Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess 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 list beginning “From bondage to spiritual faith” is commonly known as the “Tytler Cycle” or the “Fatal Sequence”. Its first known appearance is in a 1943 speech “Industrial Management in a Republic”[15] by H. W. Prentis, president of the Armstrong Cork Company and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and appears to be original to Prentis

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  13. Billy Fuster

    November 8th, 2012

    Guess who the dictator’s going to be?

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  14. MNHawk

    November 8th, 2012

    Once upon a 19th Century, Political Science gave us Tytlers and Tocquevilles. Now we get Messinas, Wasserman-Hyphens and Cutlers.

    /sigh

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  15. Doug Wakeman

    November 8th, 2012

    Here are a few from my list:

    Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the Liberties of any people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and largesses.”

    “I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”
    Benjamin Franklin, September 17, 1787

    When asked what type of government the American people were going to participate in, by a well-meaning woman, a stern Benjamin Franklin warned that our new government was going to be “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

    “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”
    Ben Franklin

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    John Adams

    “The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”
    Robert Hutchins

    “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chests; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in the trial of a thousand years.
    At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
    Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”
    Ludwig Von Mises

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  16. davey b

    November 8th, 2012

    Misquotation – Tytler Cycle

    helluva quote, but, im just not working that hard

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  17. Tim

    November 8th, 2012

    A thing isn’t less true because it is a misquote.

    A thing’s truth or falsity lies in itself.

    “Obama Sucks!” Is that less true if attributed to Larry Sinclair and more true if attributed to Reggie Love?

    The statement stands on its own.

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  18. Blink

    November 8th, 2012

    BFH and HT – Thank you for posting this.

    Last evening I was trying to recall the “Fatal Sequence” quote and who said it. I had first heard it on G. Beck a couple of years ago. Where it was also inaccurately attributed to the Scotsman, Tytler. An easy mistake. The quote is incorrectly attributed to Tytler in several books.

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  19. wrpspeed1

    November 8th, 2012

    I believe it is Alexis de Tocqueville who made these comments.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising 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.”

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  20. tonythom

    November 8th, 2012

    you guys do realize Tytler never said that. There’s no attribution that he ever said it, but carry on anyway.

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  21. tonythom

    November 8th, 2012

    de Tocqueville never said it either. Attribution folks.

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  22. FreeMan & Sarah Screwed Again

    November 8th, 2012

    Next stop, Bondage. Hand in those Obama Phones.

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