I live under The Nittany Turkey’s sofa, and I watch his big screen TV, when I’m not eating the crumbs generated by his football parties. Just like the rest of you, I have lots of opinions.
I have kept my opinions inside for a while because I have been well fed—for a mouse, not unlike American voters, this is Priority Number One. Unlike lots of American voters, I work hard for my meager penance, and never expect that I will be fed just because I merely exist. Thus, if I had a vote—and someday elections might be crooked enough that mice get the right to vote—I would not vote for whoever offers me the biggest handout. I would vote for the long-term security and viability of the republic. But I digress. I need to spew a few of my musinations here, because football season is over, and I’m back to lean and mean again.
Let me give you a quote, which you may humanate over at your leisure.
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. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 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 apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.
Lest you think I’ve been drinking the MUScatel and I invented these thoughts mouself, the quote is attributable to Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian/professor who wrote several books in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Think about that in our present context. Where do you think we are? Can anyone dispute the notion that fiscal policy has been loose, no matter which party has maintained control of Congress? Let’s look beyond partisanship to the greater good of this wonderfully abundant nation we’ve all enjoyed all our lives. Catering to a handout seeking majority is a sure path to ruin. Can we afford to ignore Tytler’s treatise?
Most likely, Tytler was discussing the progression of Athenian society, but I see similarities in Rome, too.
It would be short sighted and ignorant not to think about these words in our present situation. The voters have obviously discovered that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. No question about that. With only modest greasing of their palms, those voters can be maintained in the camp of those who would doom us to an oppressive future.
Those voters who do not easily fall into that category are now being subjected to the politics of fear: If you don’t go along with this huge, extravagant, pork-laden, so-called stimulus bill, we’ll all die broke tomorrow!
This society lacks the character to endure pain without falling apart at the seams. Thus, our politicians take the path of least resistance: borrowing money to pay off those who vote for them, knowing that these loans will have to be paid back with considerable interest long after they have feathered their personal nests. The voting public goes along with this scam, of course, because the alternative is onerous. We no longer seem to want to work hard and suffer pain for the sake of subsequent generations as our ancestors did; instead, we easily select the option of inducing pain and suffering on future generations so we can feel good today. We no longer view this as the land of opportunity where hard work can yield great fortunes; we view it as the land of handouts where slacking off is lavishly compensated at the expense of productivity.
To this mouse, this all seems ass-backward.