Tytler organized these items in a circle:
I was fascinated with this because to me it seemed to explain what we are going through as a country right now, where people are more interested in how they can somehow soak the system to get their free ride, than building anything. Clearly we are on the left side of this cycle, somewhere in the selfishness, complacency, apathy or dependence side.
Recently I found an article entitled “An American Tragedy” dated 12/16/08 by James Quinn, a financial writer and senior director of strategic planning for a major university. Most of the article is about disgraced investment guru Bernie Madoff, but a good chunk of it concerns the Tytler cycle and exactly where Quinn thinks we are in the cycle. Here's what Quinn has to say:
“The following quote attributed to Scottish history professor Alexander Tyler in 1787, seems to portray an accurate reflection of what has occurred during our 200+ years of existence as a democracy.
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. 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
“These words were written two years before George Washington became our first President. There is so much truth in these words it makes me shudder, especially since we are clearly in stage 7. An honest appraisal of our country’s downward spiral is necessary to begin the process of redemption. We have continually voted ourselves increased benefits, dependent upon the printing presses of the Federal Reserve to sustain our country’s ponzi scheme. We have pawned our future and the bill will eventually come due.
This from The Tytler Cycle by John Eberhard of CommonSenseGovernment.com.