Myth Blaster: How Long Does US (We) Have?


Quills, Iowa received the following e-mail from Joan and Tom, who wrote:
I haven’t checked the validity of this, but it sure is interesting food for thought …”
How Long Do We Have?
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:
“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 they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.”
“During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage”
________________________
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
Number of States won by: Gore: 19; Bush: 29.
Square miles of land won by: Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000. Population of counties won by: Gore: 127 million; Bush: 143 million.
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore: 13.2. Bush: 2.1.
Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore’s territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…”
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the ”complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
Myth Blaster: Cartoon from Scotland?Myth Blaster VerdictVariable.
First, the second part of the e-mail attributes 2000 election statistics to a Professor Joseph Olson, Hamline University. A real person who sent an e-mail to Snopes and told them he did not write it. Secondly, after checking with the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data the numbers are incorrect.
This portion of the e-mail appeared separately in 2001 concerning the statistics and was added to the “Tyler” quotation.
The first part, a quote attributed to “Alexander Tyler” was sent by someone who spelled his name wrong. The person was Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish historian and professor who wrote several books in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Also, only part of the quote is attributed to Tytler, which is the following according to Bartleby, and even then it is tagged as unverified. Here is the real quote:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess 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.”

The reason why it is unverified is that the words above could not be found in any of Tytler’s books – by me, Snopes or other folks who researched.
The second part of “Tyler’s” quote I have seen somewhere, and found it was used in a speech by Senator Strom Thurmond addressing the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce in Aberdeen, South Carolina, January 6th, 1965, which he stated:
I am reminded that the studies of R. G. LeTourneau show that the average age of the world’s great governments has been 200 years, and that the general steps through which they progressed were: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from abundance to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back again to bondage.
Someone added it in to Professor Tytler’s quotation. It is quite possible that the words were in one of his lectures and not his books. A Google search for “from bondage to spiritual faith” produces about 1,830,000 results. Loren Collins came up with the same information as I did and then some, and is listed in the top ten searches for the phrase above.
But whoever wrote the original e-mail, conglomerated several pieces of information, probably from e-mail they received and it turned into a chain mail of misinformation. Regardless of these findings and whoever wrote it, the first part that is attributed to a Scottish professor of the 1700s and whose name is spelled wrong, the words ring true in respect to the history of democracy – which we should pay attention to in today’s America. Here is the restructured text in its entirety:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess 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. Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, 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 to bondage.
The last part of the e-mail are comments from the person or persons who put it together:
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
Thanks to Quills, Iowa, for her submission of this circulating e-mail.
 
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