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The sequence of democracy

This is the latest email forward I’ve received, and they don’t get much more full of bad data and mis-attributed scholars than this. This has been covered in other places, notably at Snopes; this particular link actually points to the original 2000 version of the email. Factcheck.org also deals with the 2008 version.

How Long Do We Have?

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 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 earlier:

‘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 they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’

‘From that moment on, the majority always vote 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, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage’

First off, the Scottish writer was Alexander Tytler, not Alexander Tyler. Furthermore, the quote apparently was first attributed to Tytler by one H. W. Prentis (Wikipedia), though it is unknown where the first part came from. Tytler never wrote the book about the fall of the Athens.

Onwards!

Professor Joseph Olson of  Hemline  University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota
points out some interesting facts concerning the 2008 Presidential election:
Number of States won by:
Democrats: 19
Republicans: 29
Square miles of land won by:
Democrats: 580,000
Republicans: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by:
Democrats: 127 million
Republicans: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Democrats: 13.2
Republicans: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the
taxpaying citizens of this great country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living
in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..’ Olson believes the
United States is somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of
democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental
dependency’ phase.

Professor Joseph Olson of  Hemline  University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota points out some interesting facts concerning the 2008 Presidential election:

Number of States won by:

Democrats: 19 /Republicans: 29

Square miles of land won by:

Democrats: 580,000 / Republicans: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:

Democrats: 127 million / Republicans: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:

Democrats: 13.2 / Republicans: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..’ Olson believes the United States is somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.

First off, it’s important to note that Professor Olson of Hamline University has been trying to kill this email for years, as it mis-quotes him– he never actually wrote anything like this. Furthermore, all of these numbers are incorrect– though the populations and land area were apparently correct for the 2000 election.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message. If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,

ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

Please, whoever you are, do not forward this email. It is, again, a set of lies designed to divide along party lines, and is xenophobic to boot.

  1. ros martin
    November 21st, 2009 at 18:15 | #1

    So why in hell is it still making rounds? everywhere?

  2. Fritz Heckel
    November 21st, 2009 at 18:36 | #2

    I have to guess because people don’t fact-check emails which are forwarded to them, under the assumption that their friends and family would not send something which is false. If someone agrees with the sentiment expressed by the email, then I suspect it’s even less likely that it will be checked.

    I find this one especially amazing given that Professor Olson has been trying to kill the misattribution since 2000; some lies are just incredibly persistent.

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