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The Late Great American Dream
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories.
A perfect democracy, a “warm body” democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction…. Once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.
Robert A. Heinlein’s “To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987).
It Is The Soldier
It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped with the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Charles M. Province
“First They Came For”
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
It is a reference to the Holocaust. It is also, however, a warning about the ease with which such an event could occur again, if we of the present allow ourselves to become ignorant of the lessons of the past. Niemöller, born in 1892, was German, and a Protestant.
8 Stages of a Democracy
“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 200 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 apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”