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The 7 sins of socialism

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9

As homeschooling parents, my husband and I are students of history and try to pass on this interest to our daughters. Anyone with a passion for the past appreciates the cyclic nature of human governance and the repetition of historical behavior and events, hence the well-known adage by George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” When you stop to think about it, those words are quite eerie – and prescient.

Eerier still is the quote misattributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler. While this Scottish historian probably never actually wrote it, the words are nonetheless sinister:

“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:

So again, where are we in Tytler’s sequence? I believe we are transitioning from apathy to dependence (some argue we’re beyond the dependence mark). It’s worth noting that this sequence is not necessarily made up of equally-spaced divisions. The time it takes to go from apathy to dependency may be relatively long. But the time from dependency to bondage can be frighteningly short.

One last thing should scare all historians to pieces, and it concerns the historical rise and fall of democracies. First you have to create a democracy before you get 200 years of relative freedom. Countries like America are few and far between, and we’re tossing it away in favor of the fiasco of socialism.

The quote says nothing about the rise and fall of tyranny. And history has shown that tyranny can last a whole lot longer than 200 years.