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from an 18th Century Professor About Democracy-Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor The erumor does not name
but quotes what it says is a professor who says that democracies
eventually vote themselves out of existence.
This quote has been circulating on
the Internet for quite a while.
We have not found any documentation of it beyond the past ten years.
Some versions say its author is a man named Tyler, but It is most
often attributed to Sir Alex Fraser Tytler.
Tytler is real. He was a Scottish jurist, historian, and
Edinburgh University professor.
We can find evidence that he wrote only one book titled
"Universal history, from the creation of the world to the
beginning of the eighteenth century" published in 1837 by
Hilliard, Gray and Company in Boston.
TruthOrFiction.com has searched a digital version of the book and
has not found anything resembling the alleged quote.
We have not found a book titled "The Decline and the Fall of
the Athenian Republic" as is described in some versions of the
eRumor or a book titled "The Fall of the Athenian
Last updated 9/27/03
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Re: The Fall of the Athenian Republic.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can
exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse
(generous gifts) 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, (which is) always followed by a
dictatorship." "The average age of the world's greatest
has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this
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.
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