18th/early 19th century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler conceived “Fatal Sequence” concept, describing the process by which democracies are born, thrive but ultimately die.
Tytler surmised democracies cannot survive much longer than two centuries as voters discover “they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury” resulting in a majority that “always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits.”
In the end, Tytler predicted, the “loose fiscal policy” of voters continually fed at the public trough would prove democracy’s downfall.
At the bottom of a pyramid, the Sequence starts with “bondage,” which gives rise to “spiritual faith” which, in turn, gives rise to “great courage,” which begets “liberty,” and, at the pyramid’s peak, results in “abundance.” But then a downward slide takes place with “abundance” yielding to “selfishness,” which gives way to “complacency,” continuing down to “apathy,” followed by “dependency” and, ultimately, returning back to “bondage.”
An interesting and frightening prediction for America.
We’ve already seen abundance, selfishness, and complacency, are cruising right though apathy, and are going to go full speed over the cliff of dependency in short order. And it may not matter who replaces Obama – but he certainly did not help slow a Democracies decline.