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 Post subject: Politics
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 4:48 am 
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Does anyone know the author of this quote- America,(or Democracy, or American Democracy), will last until the politicians discover that you can bribe the people with the people's money. I happened to read this somewhere on the net and now can't remember where I saw it, I'm not really sure if the author was listed. :?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:15 pm 
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Perhaps this is the quote you are looking for:
Quote:
"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."--Alexander Tyler


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:57 pm 
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The following remark used to be on the internet, but I now can not find any trace of it:

"As Cicero warned 2000 years ago, popular government lasts only until the electorate discover their votes are the key to the treasury."

The Tyler quote may in fact be fabricated.

A variant of it is:
"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 candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always to be followed by dictatorship and then a monarchy."

~usually attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1748-1813), in The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic

Note:
Tytler was a Scottish historian at Edinburgh University. The attribution to him is unverified. In the alt.quotations newsgroup, one of the members said that Tytler did not write such a book (although he wrote a book on history which covered Athens). According to him "the idea that wealth brings less military enthusiasm and more corruption among the leaders of government is not of course an idea of his own; he takes it from Tacitus and other writers in antiquity."

Check out this webpage where an individual
William C. Waterhouse (Penn State) believes this quote it is “phony”
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&s ... ac.psu.edu


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