Again into Bondage?

ruthmontgomeryphotoThis is an article from the Syracuse Herald Journal by Ruth Montgomery dated 5/22/1967.

WASHINGTON – If it is true that history repeats itself, Americans can scarcely view with complacency the military dictatorship which has seized control of Greece, the birthplace of democracy. Nearly 200 years ago, while we were still a British colony, Professor Alexander Tyler wrote about the fall of the American republic in these words:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote 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 complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.

We are indebted to a reader, James Oviatt, for Tyler’s reminder of our own possible fate. In less than a decade this nation will celebrate the 200th anniversary of his declaration of independence from Great Britain. None can question the spiritual faith and great courage of our founding fathers, who led us from bondage to liberty; nor question the abundance which that liberty has brought us. But are we, like the once great civilizations of Athens and Rome, now progressing through selfishness, complacency and apathy back to dependency and bondage?

We read of the personal greed that has brought proud legislators to their knees, of special interests that demand special privilege, of selfishly labor leaders who are wrecking newspapers and other industries, of “black power” advocates and “white segregationists.”

Tyler warned that democracy can only exist until people begin voting themselves largesse from the treasury, and electing those candidates who promised the most benefits from the public trough. And dictatorship, he added, inevitably follows loose fiscal policy.

How much longer, then, can we safely continue to promise everything to everybody? How long can our national policy be one of distributing largesse to those who refuse to help themselves, both here and abroad? The Administration has now asked Congress to set a new “permanent” debt ceiling of $36 billion, an amount which is $29 billion above the current temporary limit. In pleading the case for this astronomical example of living-beyond-one’s-budget, Treasury Secretary Henry H. Fowler said that next year’s federal deficit could soar as high as $24 billion, although President Johnson in January projected at eight or nine billion.

Where do we go from here? In our headlong quest for both guns and butter, the government takes more and more of our money, while going ever deeper into debt. When America is bled red, who will then rush to the rescue of hungry nations that fail to tax their rich, to revolutionize their agriculture and push for birth control? And if the young radicals who refuse to fight for the preservation of liberty succeed in sapping and our will to resist aggression, who will then turn the ghettos into model communities?

Complacency, apathy, dependency, and “back again into bondage?” It is not a pretty prospect.

Back to February 2017, here’s the current National Debt Clock at $19.9 Trillion and rising.

us-debt-feb-2017

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