A knowledge of the past is a great help to us in understanding the present and predicting the future.
Alexander Tyler, a history professor at the University of Edinburgh in the late nineteenth century and one time Judge Advocate of Scotland, was a student of classical Greece. Writing about the fall of the Athenian Republic, he opined, “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 a loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by dictatorship”
Seems strangely prescient, doesn’t it? Our nation is spending money in reckless abandon. Fiscal restraint is a thing of the past, and everyone is forming up in lines for the dole. Twenty trillion, thirty trillion, forty trillion – the national debt is beyond comprehension, and those foolish men in Washington act as if there is no tomorrow.
Was Alexander Tyler correct? Can we survive?
The time to turn things around grows very short.