Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day 2014


"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." -Either Alexander Fraser Tytler, 18th century writer, or else Alexis de Tocqueville. No one seems to know who, but it's spot on.

Tytler did write: "It is not, perhaps, unreasonable to conclude, that a pure and perfect democracy is a thing not attainable by man, constituted as he is of contending elements of vice and virtue, and ever mainly influenced by the predominant principle of self-interest. It may, indeed, be confidently asserted, that there never was that government called a republic, which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy. - Universal History: From the Creation of the World to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Vol. I. Petridge and Company. p. 216.

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