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Used and Abused Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:05 PM
Original message
How long does a democratic society last before morphing into something el
*else.

Are Democracies cyclical? I hear now of teens saying we have too much freedom of speech. Many Americans are OK with the Patriot Act and other abuses of our liberty. How long do democracies typically last before morphing into something more sinister which will later be put in check by another democracy?
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. I reckon Plato had something to say about that
Something about how Democracy gives birth to tyranny... I can't remember exactly. I wonder if someone could help out.
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Someone already wrote about that...
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them...

From that paragraph - isn't it interesting how much more we've been told about the use of the word "God" rather than "equal"...
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. 224 years apparently
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randyman Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Plato's republic
TYRANNY

How does democracy yield to tyranny?

Through an EXCESS OF LIBERTY

Leads to anarchy

Democracy is undone by the same vice that ruins oligarchy. But because democracy has embraced anarchy, the damage is more general and far worse, and its subjugation more complete. The truth is, a common rule holds for the seasons, for all the plants and the animals, and particularly for political societies: excess in one direction tends to provoke excess in the contrary direction (564)
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ClassicDem Donating Member (170 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. According to Benjamin Franklin
"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. democracies and the "restraint of power"
we have historically viewed democracy as somehow separate from our economic system ...

we allow unlimited amassing of wealth and we, even many DU'ers, see some form of freedom with doing so ... it's entrepreneurial ... it's the "American way" ... it builds wealth ... it's the very essence of freedom ...

the truth is, though, that unrestrained wealth rapidly becomes unrestrained power and preferential access to the halls of government ... there is nothing inherently evil with great wealth until it insidiously seeps into our democratic institutions and corrupts them ...

how long does it take this process to take hold in a democracy??? it doesn't matter ... either all anti-democratic forces are restrained by law, including the abuses of capitalism and greed, or the cancer grows and democracy dies ... how long it suffers before it does is really not the point ...
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Is this an argument for campaign finance reform
or a new economic system?

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. When members of the society feel they owe nothing ...
to further that society, it is doomed.

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. The cycle will soon be complete

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 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 prior.

"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 that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes 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, these nations always progressed through the following sequence.


From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

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Used and Abused Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. So, then, we have no hope?
This passage seems eerily true. It seems that if it wasn't Bush, it would have been some other asshole. We're doomed. This is just the normal cycle and nothing we do will stop this from happening?
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