Originally posted by mrwupy
Ah once again a chance to quote Tytler:
I'm sorry, Mrwupy, I know this material has been posted many times, and it's not really pertinent to this topic, but it's a hard-and-fast rule of
mine that I ALWAYS must respond by pointing out what utter ludicrous nonsense it is.
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
A statement inherently unverifiable, since "permanence" requires, for proof, that a form of government exist into the unforeseeable future. Let us
simply say that many democracies exist today that have been around for centuries, and that a far greater percentage of the earth's surface is
government by democracy than was the case when Tytler wrote those words.
While we cannot disprove the notion that a democracy cannot be "permanent," we can disprove the following:
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
Of democracies that have ceased to exist, even temporarily -- ancient Athens, say, and the first French Republic -- NOT ONE fell through a process
remotely resembling this description.
It simply doesn't happen. Never has. Not once.
The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.
Oh, really? Let's see now . . . let's make a list of civilizations, shall we?
Western Europe and its current and former colonies
I know that's not exhaustive by a long stretch, but it will do for a start, shall we agree? Now, let's consider how long each of them lasted to
Sumeria -- mid 4th millennium to late 3rd millennium BCE, roughly 1,500 years.
Babylonia -- around 1900 BCE until the conquest by Cyrus of Persia in 538, or roughly 1,500 years.
India -- not counting the Indus Valley civilization, but beginning with something genuinely "Indian" -- I would say the Vedic civilization -- date
this one from 2,000 BCE or thereabouts. As a civilization, India still exists. It is now over 4,000 years old.
Egypt -- the beginning of this civilization was about 4,000 BCE. I would say it ended either with the Roman or the Muslim conquest; today's Egypt is
a Muslim country radically different in culture from its ancient forbears. If we choose the earlier date, then Egypt ended in the first century BCE,
and therefore lasted almost 4,000 years.
China -- the only existing civilization older than India, Chinese civilization is some 6,000 years old and still going strong.
Persia -- we can date the origins of the Persian civilization at about 1,000 BCE. It still exists. Granted, it is today a Muslim country, but
Persian Islam seems very different from the religion as practiced in Arab countries, and has a strongly Zoriastrian flavor. Persian civilization is
some 3,000 years old. It may end soon if Bush decides to nuke Iran.
Greece -- Greek civilization, properly so called, began after the fall of the Minoan/Mycenaean civilization to barbarians, roughly 900 BCE. As a
civilization, it survived internal wars and conquests by the Macedonians, the Romans, and the Turks, dominating each of those conquerors culturally
even though it lost militarily. Greece is now almost 3,000 years old.
Rome -- If we date the Roman civilization properly so called from the founding of the Republic in the 6th century BCE, and end it with the fall of the
Roman Empire in the 5th century CE, we have a roughly 1,000-year lifespan.
Japan -- this civilization dates from about the 5th or 6th century CE. It still exists, and is therefore some 1,500 years old.
Western Civilization -- this emerged from the ruins of the western Roman Empire. I would date the origin of Western civ proper at no earlier than
1,000 CE (they were hardly "civilized" before that). It still exists and is in fact the most powerful and vigorous civilization on the planet.
It's about 1,000 years old and going strong.
Those 10 great civilizations have lasted an average of 2,650 years, more than 10 times as long as Tytler's supposed "average." One wonders how
many civilizations lasting only a decade or so he examined in order to balance out that longevity and arrive at his "average," and on what basis he
called such relative mayflies "great."
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.
It would be interesting indeed to see one -- just one -- civilization shown to follow this ill-defined pattern. Or even to have an explanation of
what those "stages" might mean.