"Something to think about" redux
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have 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 dependency back to bondage.”
The response was underwhelming. Only four Constant Readers bothered to put in their two cents’ worth. However, those responses were thoughtful and well-reasoned. I was reminded that America is a republic, a nation of laws. (That was a matter of semantics in the context of the quote.) I was also taken to task on the inherent moral goodness of the majority of American people, and my apparent lack of faith in that goodness. Sorry about that; I’ve become a bit more cynical since The Red Herring was elected. However, the traditional $100 bill is back under the paperweight on my desk, pending the outcome of the 2010 elections. Anyone want to go even money with me that the people won’t be turning a lot of these incumbent bastards out to pasture next year?
In “Something to think about” I promised to give my humble opinion as to where we are in the transitional phases from bondage back into bondage. Here is my analysis of what the quote means, with my thoughts in boldface:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government...[This nation] has progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith—this would be America’s transition from a collection of English colonies into a unified people; the faith of The Founding Fathers is abundantly obvious in everything they wrote and said—from spiritual faith to great courage—it was the spiritual faith of the colonists that gave them the courage to revolt against England and break away, forming a nation unique in the history of mankind—from courage to liberty—this would cover much of our early history, from defending our sovereignty in the War of 1812, to becoming irrevocably unified after the War Between the States, all the way to liberating millions of people during and following World War II—from liberty to abundance—following War II, America grew from an isolated “sleeping giant” into the most powerful nation on earth, not through military conquest and oppression of our enemies, but by promoting our principles of liberty and democracy—from abundance to selfishness—from post-War II until the early 1970s, the great abundance of our burgeoning power, coupled with societal changes and disillusionment with the status quo brought us to the “Me Generation” mentality of the disco era through the ‘80s and early ‘90s—from selfishness to complacency—and who could epitomize pre-9/11 complacency better than the Clintons, with their Hillary Care, midnight basketball, and refusal to deal with the growing terrorist threats? George W. was elected as a kind of caretaker president; no one expected great or dynamic things from him, until the world shifted on its axis nine months after his inauguration—from complacency to apathy—after the immediate flashback of great courage and unity following 9/11, we slipped into turmoil, divisiveness, and polarization surpassed only by the upheavals of the Vietnam generation, to the point that everyone grew weary and fell prey to ignorance, apathy, and indifference: “I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter anyway.”—from apathy to dependence—in our apathy and weariness, the American people were hoodwinked into electing one of our greatest frauds of modern times; a president and congress whose principles—such as they are—are totally antipathetic to the values, faith and courage this country was founded upon. Now we find ourselves becoming totally dependent upon this unresponsive, uncaring government to support us in every aspect our lives, from the cradle to grave and all points in between—from dependency back to bondage.”
We already have a shadow government of “czars”, the G-20 economic cabal, and the United Nations. The G-20 and the UN may not directly dictate our national policies, but our increasing dependence on the opinions of dictators, monarchies, and theocracies is placing us in thrall to the failed social systems of lesser powers.
My bottom line; my answer to the question: we are somewhere in the transition from apathy to dependence. The best example of this is the current health care debate, wherein we’re going to decide whether to turn over another 20% of this nation’s economy to government control. The failed “stimulus” spending and subsequent governmental takeover of the automotive and banking industries is another good example. As a people, we've lost our collective faith—in capitalism, God, and the inherent power of liberty to overcome all evils perpetrated by mankind—and we’ve lost our will to stand up and make the changes needed to halt and reverse our downhill slide into bondage to some dictatorial form of government based on the acquisition and retention of absolute power combined with some bizarre perversion of mob rule.
God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.