Sunday, April 13, 2008

We're at the last stage, the beginning of the end of the West

This will be our lament -- if there's anyone left to mourn.

From Alexander Fraser Tyler, warning the Founding Fathers of the dangers of democracy, since the Athenian republic had fallen because of an inherent weakness in democracy . . . allowing the ignorant, easily-manipulated [or selfish] common people to determine government policy:
"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 two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this 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 again into bondage."
And here is Aldous Huxley in the Forward to Brave New World, describing the end of the American experiment:
"Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism . . . A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers."