Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Governments

We live, of course, in a republic. Lately I've been thinking a lot about different forms of government and doing a little analysis of the whole spectrum, trying to rid myself of emotive terms void of real meaning and reduce things to their basics.

One of the things we are consistently treated to on the popular media is the idea that France is a democracy. It was hearing someone on the radio casually assume this idea that started my recent thinking in this direction.

I'm inclined to post a very succinct quote from a British professor Alexander Fraser Tytler who wrote,

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess (defined as a liberal gift) out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship."

It seems to me that a great many people in America also have the idea that their government is a democracy and are busy acting like it. It is certainly to be hoped that France can shake off such ideas and learn from mistakes others are making and keep to its republican base.


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