Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

de Tocqueville Was Right
200 Years Ago | Alexis de Tocqueville

Posted on 11/07/2012 11:08:50 AM PST by RayBob

“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 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.”

Alexis de Tocqueville


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
I would say that de Tocqueville pretty much nailed it. The Republic is lost.
1 posted on 11/07/2012 11:08:51 AM PST by RayBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: RayBob

since history is based upon human nature, and human nature doesn’t change, you can predict the end.


2 posted on 11/07/2012 11:12:47 AM PST by WILLIALAL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

*


4 posted on 11/07/2012 11:15:25 AM PST by PMAS (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
"...democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship..."

So, if this destiny cannot be avoided, perhaps we should be positioning ourselves to be the dictator. Just a thought.
5 posted on 11/07/2012 11:16:08 AM PST by frankenMonkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

It’s a great quote—scary and prescient. There is some disagreement as to its author, however.


6 posted on 11/07/2012 11:17:55 AM PST by GSWarrior
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frankenMonkey

I think Barry has already beaten us to the punch...


7 posted on 11/07/2012 11:18:23 AM PST by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

When Clinton was elected, I expected to see a military coup in Washington. It did not happen.

I will be expecting to see one anytime now.

Duck an cover, lock and load.


8 posted on 11/07/2012 11:24:40 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (The parasites now outnumber the producers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

Possibly true, but not said, at least in these words, by Tocqueville.

I’d really love for somebody to compile a list of “the world’s great civilizations,” with their starting and ending dates showing an average of 200 years.

The Chinese civilization is arguably at present around 3000 years old, the Japanese around 1500.

Rome lasted somewhere between 800 and 2000 years, depending on how you figure it.


9 posted on 11/07/2012 11:27:51 AM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

yep, looks to be that way. It was wonderful while it lasted. Now me and my kids and my grandkids are in for that last part (dictatorship) and I’ll give you 3 guesses who the dictator is gonna be.

Don’t worry about any more elections—he’ll draft executive orders to cancel them, and Congress won’t do anything about it. Boehner will cry and cry and some of the outspoken ones in the Congress will wail against the administration, but the dems/liberals/communists in the government will watch from the sidelines. And of course, the SC justices will be bought and paid for with 30 pieces of silver, so don’t look to them for rescue either. The folks who voted for him will want him to rule them forever cuz they worship him and faint at his feet.

We are done. Best to get to know Jesus really fast and be ready for His return. That’s the last real great hope this world has.


10 posted on 11/07/2012 11:28:45 AM PST by sassy steel magnolia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Also attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813)... who knows... in any event, the quote has been around since the 1950s and is still very true.


11 posted on 11/07/2012 11:30:56 AM PST by RayBob (If guns kill people, can I blame misspelled words on my keyboard?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

That is exactly what is going on here. We probably reached the tipping point some time ago, but last night was proof we’ve passed it. Like an economist can’t say for sure if a recession is on/off for months after the actual date, we had to be past it to see it.

Quite a shame, really. I have no idea where else to go now that it’s a sure thing this country is going to fail, and there’s nothing any of us can do to stop it.


12 posted on 11/07/2012 11:34:29 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sassy steel magnolia

There will still be elections. Even the USSR, North Korea and Venezuela still have/had elections. They already know the outcome, and win by fraud. We just had the first of many window-dressing elections. And the “Republicans” will be part of the window-dressing; a few token Republicans will be allowed to hold House and Senate seats for a few decades, until they have outlived their usefulness and the sheep are thoroughly domesticated.


13 posted on 11/07/2012 11:39:06 AM PST by henkster (If you let them do it to you, you got yourself to blame.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: GSWarrior

I think I recall reading it in “Democracy in America”, but it was tough sledding and I have may have dozed off a time or two...


14 posted on 11/07/2012 11:41:48 AM PST by jagusafr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

de Tocqueville was merely reflecting on history than any educated man of his time understood. When Ben Franklin was asked about the new constitution he quipped “We have given you a republic, if you can keep it.” The Founders and the men who wrote the constitution fully understood history and the inherent danger of a democracy. They knew very well what happened to Athens, Rome, Florence, Hanover and Venice. They tried to establish a Republic with checks, balances and insulate government policy from whims and passions. Well it seems after 225 years human nature has caught up with this grand noble experiment. Obama is simply a catastrophic manifestation of American decline. Things will get very ugly.


15 posted on 11/07/2012 11:42:23 AM PST by allendale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty

Being depressed about the outcome, I hit the supermarket for a bottle.

So I say to the cashier, an older gal, “I need a drink after the election..”

She says “I know. It’s depressing”

I’m ready to say something but she BEATS ME TO IT and she kinda whispers “food stamps”. Then she says “You wouldn’t believe the number of twenty year olds that come in using food stamps. Some girl was in there earlier that day and bought THIRTY DOLLARS worth of GUMMY BEARS!! using food stamps. GUMMY BEARS!!

These people are literally at the point where they will burn your place down or kill you if you don’t give them their free stuff.

After all, getting free stuff sure beats the heck out of having a job that ain’t there anyways because it got offshored to China.

America needs a real wake up call and it AIN’T GONNA BE PRETTY!!


16 posted on 11/07/2012 11:43:18 AM PST by djf (Political Science: Conservatives = govern-ment. Liberals = givin-me-it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
When society departs from its Judeo-Christian principles, all is lost. OTHER moral bases are dismal failures of decline in human rights and freedoms ... you have only to look around you.

WE have traditionally been a nation of "givers" but infiltration of undesireable mores' have evidently changed that to lazy "takers."

PS: For you TAKERS: Your "free stuff" comes with an eternal price tag... your soul!!

Proverbs 6:6-11 reads
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
17 posted on 11/07/2012 11:47:57 AM PST by wubjo (Integrity shall guide the upright; the perverseness of the transgressors shall destroy them Pr. 11:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

Yes, I agree with this. It’s part of why I correctly predicted Obama would win this election. We have crossed the tipping point and are on the decline. The powers that be will probably kick the can for another few years, but make no mistake it - there is likely no turning back till the economy completely implodes. It is near impossible to wean a society from socialism that has voluntarily chosen it. Things literally need to collapse before it is reversed.


18 posted on 11/07/2012 11:48:26 AM PST by Longbow1969
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
I believe he also said, "When Americans cease to be good, America will cease to be great."

Most Americans today don't even seem to understand what virtue is, much less endeavor to be virtuous.

Of course, our culture seems to be directed towards females these days. I guess we are learning what living in a matriarchal society is like.

19 posted on 11/07/2012 11:48:42 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

The Chinese had many rises and falls of dynasties, each Dynasty was a new political nation on the same geography. And from the start of the Han dynasty around 200 BC to the present the average length each lasted is around 200 years, and none lasted 300 years.


20 posted on 11/07/2012 11:54:30 AM PST by Truthsearcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

The Chinese “civilization” has blossomed, collapsed, regenerated, and bloomed again through several cycles. But each cycle probably lasted, on average, about three or four times per millenium. The one thing that seemed to tie it together is the keeping of extensive records, by a civil service based on merit and recruited from all reaches of the extent of the various empires that were established.


21 posted on 11/07/2012 11:54:44 AM PST by alloysteel (Bronco Bama - the cowboy who whooped up and widened the stampede.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

“I’d really love for somebody to compile a list of “the world’s great civilizations,” with their starting and ending dates showing an average of 200 years.

The Chinese civilization is arguably at present around 3000 years old, the Japanese around 1500.

Rome lasted somewhere between 800 and 2000 years, depending on how you figure it.”

The keyword is “democracy”! Chinese and Japanese “civilizations” were never democracies!

The Roman democracy only lasted for 300+ years until it was destroyed by the establishment of the empire with its autocratic, imperial leaders.


22 posted on 11/07/2012 11:54:48 AM PST by Gnarly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: henkster
They already know the outcome, and win by fraud.

What makes you so sure THIS election wasn't take by fraud??

Who did the counting? Why such an erroneous narrative of opinion polls following all the Dem talking points during returns postings? These opinion polls did NOT match up nor follow any previously displayed attitude of the public opinion in months prior to election.

NO, SIR. This election was rigged and the narrative script prepared prior to the returns being reported.

Two words: Spain, SOROS! Need we say more?
23 posted on 11/07/2012 11:56:55 AM PST by wubjo (Integrity shall guide the upright; the perverseness of the transgressors shall destroy them Pr. 11:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
I believe he also said, "When Americans cease to be good, America will cease to be great."

Most Americans today don't even seem to understand what virtue is, much less endeavor to be virtuous.

Of course, our culture seems to be directed towards females these days. I guess we are learning what living in a matriarchal society is like.

24 posted on 11/07/2012 11:57:19 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wubjo

“What makes you so sure THIS election wasn’t take by fraud??”

What makes you so sure that’s what I said? This was the FIRST of many window-dressing elections.


25 posted on 11/07/2012 12:02:20 PM PST by henkster (If you let them do it to you, you got yourself to blame.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

I believe that quote is from Alexander Fraser Tyler not deToqueville

http://famousquotessite.com/famous-quotes-6934-alexander-fraser-tyler-cycle-of-democracy-1770.html


26 posted on 11/07/2012 12:09:10 PM PST by Uncle Chip
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
Also attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813)... who knows... in any event, the quote has been around since the 1950s and is still very true.

Neal Boortz used to have this quote on his website years ago. He also said not to believe anything unless you personally verified it. I checked with the National Museum of Scotland and exchanged emails with the custodian of the Tytler collected works. He said it sounded more like a 20th century rant.

If you do a search for this quote the only place you will ever find it is on Conservative websites and blogs, never a link to a genuine passage from any speech or book by any author anywhere. It's bogus.

27 posted on 11/07/2012 12:13:42 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: djf
"These people are literally at the point where they will burn your place down or kill you if you don’t give them their free stuff."

This will not stop until they are dead or we are. Mark my words. Every once in a while someone wrings his hands and bleats, "but the cities will burn."

They must burn--not like L.A., but like Dresden. If those people have an inclination toward violence and destruction, every effort should be made to shove them in that direction. Our Republic has been poisoned, and it will perish as long as the poison remains.
28 posted on 11/07/2012 12:14:04 PM PST by Windcatcher (Obama is a COMMUNIST and the MSM is his armband-wearing propaganda machine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
H. L. Mencken was also right when he said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

The next 10 to 12 months should prove revelatory.

29 posted on 11/07/2012 12:30:11 PM PST by atomic_dog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom; Uncle Chip; Sherman Logan; Trailerpark Badass
>>Also attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813)... who knows... in any event, the quote has been around since the 1950s and is still very true.>>

>Neal Boortz used to have this quote on his website years ago. He also said not to believe anything unless you personally verified it. I checked with the National Museum of Scotland and exchanged emails with the custodian of the Tytler collected works. He said it sounded more like a 20th century rant.

If you do a search for this quote the only place you will ever find it is on Conservative websites and blogs, never a link to a genuine passage from any speech or book by any author anywhere. It's bogus.<

I agree with checking things out, and tell those who send me the often bogus emails, which carelessness makes us look bad. For those who do not known, in browsers like Firefox you can select (highlight) the text in a web page you can to search, then right click and chose "Search..."

WikieQuote states

Disputed


[edit] Misattributed

This quote sometimes appears joined with the above one, most notably as part of a longer piece which began circulating on the Internet shortly after the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election[5]:

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:

  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.


30 posted on 11/07/2012 12:43:26 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Gnarly

The quote referenced age of “great civilizations,” not of democracies.

However, the USA is the world’s oldest democracy, at 235 years or so. And there is a reasonable argument it didn’t become a true democracy till the 1960s.

Rome and Athens were never anything we would consider even a limited democracy. To get to 300 years for Roman “democracy,” even stretching various points, you have to go back to well before it was a “great civilization.” For most of the time is was “democratic” it was just one of many jostling city-states on the Italian peninsula.

There are no other democracies in history that have anything like 200 years under their belt. Republics, yes, but not democracies.


31 posted on 11/07/2012 12:45:52 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
I also feel we have finally made a majority turn per John Adams' quote:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

32 posted on 11/07/2012 12:49:45 PM PST by SparkyBass
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayBob
The Republic is lost.

Nah. Ours has a built in 'reboot' option... Tho I would agree in as far as the time for a reboot is drawing perilously near.

33 posted on 11/07/2012 12:53:42 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

A clarification. Rome became something resembling a democracy, if you squint and look at it sideways, around 290, and the democracy ended at the latest, IMO, in 83 when Sulla conquered the city.

After that the Romans still held elections, but the legions controlled actual power and made the final decisions.

So you can make a reasonable case for Roman democracy lasting about 200 years, even as a “great civilization.”

Of course, you have to recognize that for this entire period the “democracy” was a rule by a master race of Roman citizens over a vastly outnumbering mass of slaves and subjects. Giving it a good bit of similarity to the National Socialist ideal.


34 posted on 11/07/2012 12:55:27 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

Quite true. We are in trouble when a huge proportion of the voters has no (in the words of Obama) “skin in the game.=”. Another writer, Theodore Dalrymple, wrote that a society that jettisons morality will always require a big government to rescue it from the consequences of its immorality. We are seeing that.

I am trying to be positive but at the moment I keep seeing in my mind a video I saw during the Cash for Clunkers program. It showed the death of a late-model luxury car deliberately sabotaged, valiantly struggling to keep running until it finally seizes up. I really hope that isn’t a harbinger of things to come for the nation.


35 posted on 11/07/2012 1:01:32 PM PST by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: daniel1212

Thanks. I wondered why I could never find that quote anywhere. It appears to be a mutt.

More elaboration or confusion here:

http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html


36 posted on 11/07/2012 1:25:30 PM PST by Uncle Chip
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom
i just did a quick look in both editions of Democracy In America, but the sentiment is pretty closely aligned with several themes therein.
37 posted on 11/07/2012 1:39:44 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

Most democrat voters have never heard of de Tocqueville, and democratic party leaders want to keep it that way, and so does the liberal press, and so do teachers and professors.

To have an electorate which is completely informed, would mean the end of the democratic party.


38 posted on 11/07/2012 1:42:32 PM PST by adorno
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zeugma

What I meant to say was the quote itself wasn’t in either Democracy in America I or II, but I think much of the sentiment expressed is.


39 posted on 11/07/2012 1:51:37 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: zeugma

I suspect Tocqueville would have agreed with the statement, were he given the opportunity.

There are other similar quotes floating around out there purportedly from Lincoln, Jefferson, etc. Often also “fake but accurate.”


40 posted on 11/07/2012 1:53:50 PM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

The USA 1776 to 2012....RIP!!


41 posted on 11/07/2012 2:29:04 PM PST by ExCTCitizen (Conservatives needs to listen to the people...Social issues lost votes for the GOP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Chip

Thanks. The main thing is that it is a general truth applicative today, though ultimately the dictatorship would likely be the antiChrist, and the monarchy the Lord Jesus.


42 posted on 11/07/2012 6:06:00 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: RayBob

Yes, de Tocqueville aced it - and 200 years ago, as well.

The great American experiment to determine if citizens could govern themselves is, quite simply, finished.

Answer: They can’t.


43 posted on 11/07/2012 6:37:36 PM PST by Jack Hammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson