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An Observation on Democracy
Incorrectly attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler

The most interesting observation is how closely the US has followed this scenario.

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 benefits from the Public Treasury with a result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

--- most commonly attributed to
     "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic"
     by Alexander Fraser Tytler Lord Woodhouselee (1748-1813)
     (Scottish judge and historian at Edinburgh University)

However, this has also been attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Alexis de Tocqueville, R. G. LeTourneau and others. It is likely that it is actually two quotes, put together. Parts of it show up in printed record as far back as 1950, when the "Fatal Sequence" portion was cited in a speach by Eugene E. Wilson at a special United Nations Convocation at Hillyer College in Hartford, Connecticut. But regardless of the quote's origin, it is interesting to note how accurate it details the past and how much further we have progressed along that predicted line, since it first appeared in modern recorded history, in 1950.

We urge you not to be concerned with the authorship of this quote, but to focus upon the truth that is in the words. I believe that we can stop this "Fatal Sequence", but not the way we are going.