August 6, 2014
ROGER KIMBALL: From Apathy To Dependence. “I am writing from beautiful, dynamic Sydney, Australia, whose 4.5 million polyglot inhabitants are enjoying the no-nonsense good government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who recently signaled his refreshing sanity by abolishing the country’s stupid “carbon tax,” aka, its tax on prosperity. There’s no hope that Barack Obama will ever proceed from his Romper Room of moralistic environmentalism to that state of enlightenment, but then we will not have Obama with us that much longer. May we hope that, at last, the American people are waking up to the economic nightmare that decades of fiscal incontinence have prepared for the country. Again, I offer free and for nothing the idea of a grass roots organization whose high purpose is summed up in its title ThrowTheBumsOut.Org.”
By coincidence, a friend sent me this observation from a 19th-century Scottish professor of history:
In 1887 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 over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
Tyler went on to suggest that democracies tended to go 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 complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.
I don’t agree that this process is necessary or inevitable. But seeing it laid out like that does make you sit up and take notice. “From apathy to dependence.” Sound familiar?
That’s pretty much the Democrats’ platform these days.