Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Interesting History

There’s an article making the rounds of the email circuit, called “An Interesting History.” I've received it twice,now. The first time was from an old buddy who sends me every bit of trivia available. The second time, I received it from someone who takes this sort of thing much more seriously. This time I read it much more carefully. It’s an interesting article in that it’s my impression that it doesn't at all say what it wants you to believe it is saying.

What do you think? I’m including the entire article here – censorship isn’t fair. On the other hand, I AM interjecting my own comments from time to time, where I question the actual direction this thing is taking. I'm passing it along so that if you stumble over it somewhere else, you won't be fooled by what it appears to say.

HOW LONG DO WE HAVE?
This is the most interesting thing I've read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming.

I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print. God help us, not that we deserve it.

How Long Do We Have?

(So here the author suggests that this article is about the inevitable decline of democracy. It’s important to keep this theme in mind, to see what proofs are presented to substantiate that claim.)

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.'

(This statement may or may not be debatable. At face value, however, is the thought that Professor Tyler must have been smoking too much unrefined hemp. He’s applying the characteristics of a democracy to a republic. Not the same thing at all. And, in case we forget, the form of government in the United States is not a democracy – it’s a Republic! You remember this one, don’t you? “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic …

For the record, enough enquiries were received by the University of Edinburgh that, while they confirm that Alexander Tyler once taught there, they have no record whatsoever that he ever wrote a treatise on the Athenian form of government, Republic or otherwise.)

'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.’

(If I understand the implication here, the writer is suggesting that because this country is going through a economically difficult time, this is a “proof” that we are a democracy in decline. If I have voted myself a “generous gift from the public treasury,” it must have been delivered to the wrong address. My impression of our present misfortune is that we elected the wrong people to lead us. But that’s just my impression.)

'The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years'

(And what does that assertion have to do with any civilization being either a republic or a democracy? Absolutely nothing. From here on we are going on several rabbit trails, appealing to emotion rather than logic.

Even with that knowledge, I can’t resist an answer to the suggestion that no great civilization has lasted more than 200 years. I suppose you could say that statement could be true if you don’t count the British, who had been around as a monarchy for 700 years. Japan had 800 years, China about the same. Rome ruled for 700 years, Israel more-or-less the same. Egypt was under the same rule of government for almost 2,000 years. Hmmm … maybe if we don’t call any of these civilizations GREAT …)

'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'

(Now this IS interesting. In theory we are still quoting an 18th century college professor living in Edinburgh. Professor Tyler – for the record, please define bondage, spiritual faith, liberty, abundance, complacency, apathy, and dependence. Are you SURE you are living in 1787?)

(It doesn’t matter. We’re about to lurch in a whole new direction.)

Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 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

(Now read this next section VERY carefully.)

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...'

(Did you read the same thing here that I did? With one inane swipe Olson lists "proofs" that Republicans were responsible - maybe ideal - citizens, and Democrats were ... uh ... somewhere below that level. Why? Is the author trying to sway 2008 voters in some direction? In the 2000 Presidential election, unless I'm mistaken, the Republican won. I guess it depends on your viewpoint how well THAT turned out.

As a point of interest, I made an effort to check out Joseph Olson and Hemline University on the internet. I could only find one in connection with the other, and both in regard to the comments made above. When I checked through accredited Universities of Minnesota, Hemline University wasn’t listed. It’s probably just me, but I’m beginning to detect a pattern …)

Olson believes the United States is now 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. (In other words, Democrats. Boy, am I gonna have fun talking to a few friends of mine who think they are respectable! Love it!)

(And while we’re at it, let’s throw in one more black fear which doesn’t apply to the premise.)

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

(Of course! The very first thing “criminal invaders” want to do is change this country into a carbon copy of the depressed areas they just escaped from! Everybody knows that!)

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

(Brave what?)

JB

And how was your day?

2 comments:

Julie Morrison said...

Yeah, I saw that. And I appreciate the polish you put on a few finer points.

Nicki said...

Gold star for taking apart that argument piece by piece. I don't think snopes.com could have done a finer job. :) Articles like this make me angry--the American government has lasted so long because it's infinitely flexible and is changeable according to who's in power. The solution is not waiting for the "end of America" but to stand up and fight for the country you want to see happen.