Vote themselves largesse

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

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.

An obnoxiously hard to track down quote, which circulated in Communist circles in the 1960s and among conservatives today.

This quote does not apply to Athenian democracy, which it is often said to reflect upon. Athenians used direct democracy and there was no under-the-table bargaining.

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