"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 candidate promising the most from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following 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 into bondage"
- Attributed to Tytler
As a Liberty minded American it's hard for me to look at the world I live in today and not think that we're at or near the end of this sequence. It's hard not to look at things and think that I'm living in a time that history will one day regard as the fall of the last great bastion of liberty on earth.