A good quote to describe America.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money (generous gifts) 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, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship." "The average age of the world's greatest civilization 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 dependency, from dependence back into bondage." [Currently I consider america somewhere between complacency, apathy, and dependency, depending on who you are and, very generally, how old you are.]


Blogger jomama said...

That sums it up quite well.

I suspect the apathy comes from
The Futility of it All.

But, when it's all over, there will
still be Americans of some kind just
as there are still Romans.

Then the process begins anew.

12/14/2004 01:35:00 PM 
Blogger ClintJCL said...

Let's hope so.

12/14/2004 01:39:00 PM 
Blogger Danny said...

i think you may be on to some thing there

12/14/2004 01:46:00 PM 
Blogger ClintJCL said...

Let's hope so. (Just kidding, I can't keep saying that.)

I sent this to a coleague of mine this Spring, she is significantly older than me (50s vs 30) and thought we were still somewhere between "abundance" and "selfishness".

Personally, I think abundance and selfishness were the post-WW2 1950s era where everything was too perfect -- like in the movie Pleasantville.

Bondage to me represents the British Empire.
Spiritual Faith represents our very Christian Founding Fathers.
Great courage to liberty generally represents us finally being free from Britian (1812 War) and our prolonged period of libery in the 1800s. (Not counting slaves of course: We're hypocrites.)

Abundance to me came after the Great Depression and WW2. It became selfishness with the drugs and sex and cocaine of the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Somewhere along the line we drifted from selfishness to complacency, I would say approx 1985-1995. Maybe that was just the period that I woke up to this fact and it has really been like that since the hippies lost the great culture war circa 1975.

People don't care about constitutional rights anymore, and the kids today don't even see the fascism creeping in slowly. Especially the obligatory parental republicans who are too out of touch to deserve a vote anymore, but continue to do so because, well, old people vote! It is the epitome of complacency.

Finally apathy represents some of the younger kids today, the so-called "Generation X"ers, who don't bother voting, don't give a fuck, and aren't interested in changing the system because, well, as the poster above said, "The Futility Of It All".
These guys are as bad as the Republicans and Democrats.

We are now somewhat also entrenched in dependency. We need our government to protect us from terrorists (even though aspirin pills kill more people every year than terrorists). We need the government to hand us out money, especially if we are in some special interest group. We need the laws to be able to sue people when we can't make a living via legimate means. We need Fox News and the Major Media to tell us how to think. Many of us are indeed already dependent.

"From dependency into bondage." Yes, the Patiot Act. The War On Terrorism. Guantanimo. We are now so scared and dependent on our government that we don't care if our rights are trumped or if we can just invent a new legal status and incarcerate people for years on end without charing them. It begins mostly with the bondage of OTHER PEOPLE, but the bondage of Americans has already started.

Look at the drug war. Look at the percentage of nonviolent prisoners. Nonviolent drugusers are political prisoners. (Ironically often in bondage due to their dependency to drugs, but that is another story, and it should be reated as a medical problem, not a legal one.)

My very long-and-drawn-out point is Yes, I think I'm onto something. I can't take quote for the original poster, but GODDAMN does EVERY WORD of the quote RING OF TRUTH IN MY BRAIN.

12/14/2004 02:00:00 PM 
Blogger jomama said...

Think some more about it.

Then you'll rewrite your post.

If I sound cryptic, so much the
better because you'll think some

You have the essence of the saying.

12/14/2004 09:23:00 PM 
Blogger ClintJCL said...

I'm not into riddles, sorry.

12/15/2004 05:35:00 PM 
Blogger jomama said...

Looking back on my last post, I don't
know why I said what I said. I musta
been on my 5th glass of suds.

Scratch it.

Anyway the quote really gets to the
guts of things and there's really
nothing to argue with, even your
interpretation of the time frame.

Good analysis.

12/17/2004 08:48:00 AM 
Blogger ClintJCL said...

Thank you for your kind words!

12/17/2004 08:52:00 AM 

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