Quote of the Day: The Fragility of 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 over a loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by 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.

The Obituary follows: ‘United States of America,’ Born 1776, Died 201?”

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior.

I was both intrigued and disturbed by this “obituary.” In one way, I can say that America has survived through many difficult times. But there are two factors that are coming together that cause me concern. One is that we may have reached the stage of complacency: people don’t know America’s history against adversity, the strides we have made in the world, and what we stand for. This story is not being taught in schools. Along with that dearth of information, America is also being attacked by the Left: lies are being perpetuated, misinformation is being distributed, and the values we stand for are being debased. It is like we are falling into an abyss and poison is being tossed in after us.

Still, I have great faith in this country. Of late, with the efforts that are being made to stop the destruction and get to the truth, I still hold on to hope that America has a bright future.

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There are 35 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    It’s arguable that the “died” date was 1932, with the election of FDR. It really was an abandonment of our founding principles and an embrace of secular Leftism. This hypothesis helps explain the radicalism of the 1960s, as the youth of that period did not remember the old days.

    I wouldn’t argue that it was a sudden shift in 1932. Both Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson were precursors in the original “Progressive” era. Progressivism was a new (Leftist) ideology around the turn of the 20th Century. The political parties did not immediately sort themselves out, so there were both Republican and Democratic Progressives in the early period.

    FDR’s election marked the ascendancy of this Leftist Progressivism. The Republican Party didn’t like it, but shifted to accommodate it in order to remain electorally competitive.

    Another important factor was the Supreme Court, which embarked on a series of radical anti-religious decisions starting with Everson v. Board of Education in 1940. The Everson case invalidated a program paying for school transportation for any student, in a public or private school. Everson established two principles for the first time: (1) it applied the 1st Amendment religion clauses to the states (a process called “incorporation”); and (2) it stated that government had to be neutral between religion and non-religion (the prior principle was that government could favor religion generally, but could not favor one religion over another).

     

    • #1
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Kevin Schulte Member

    I’d say we are in the mid stage of apathy to dependency. This is why 2016 and every election forward is a 911 election. We are on the edge of the precipice of bondage. A financial collapse will end the American experiment and send us tumbling into bondage. Short of that it will be creeping bondage. 

    It’s the morals, a republic must have a virtuous people to thrive. Take away the virtue and the republic collapses.

     

    Hate being a Debbie downer.

    On the selfish bright side. There is probably enough America left to finish my time here on this earth. 

    Sorry children and grandchildren. :( 

    • #2
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Kay of MT Member

    I like to think that since we are a Republic and not a Democracy, we can right the defects and get back on track.

    • #3
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Kevin Schulte Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I like to think that since we are a Republic and not a Democracy, we can right the defects and get back on track.

    I sincerely hope so. However, ask any young person what kind of gov we have and they are likely to say democracy.

    • #4
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:55 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s arguable that the “died” date was 1932, with the election of FDR. It really was an abandonment of our founding principles and an embrace of secular Leftism. This hypothesis helps explain the radicalism of the 1960s, as the youth of that period did not remember the old days.

    I wouldn’t argue that it was a sudden shift in 1932. Both Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson were precursors in the original “Progressive” era. Progressivism was a new (Leftist) ideology around the turn of the 20th Century. The political parties did not immediately sort themselves out, so there were both Republican and Democratic Progressives in the early period.

    FDR’s election marked the ascendancy of this Leftist Progressivism. The Republican Party didn’t like it, but shifted to accommodate it in order to remain electorally competitive.

    Another important factor was the Supreme Court, which embarked on a series of radical anti-religious decisions starting with Everson v. Board of Education in 1940. The Everson case invalidated a program paying for school transportation for any student, in a public or private school. Everson established two principles for the first time: (1) it applied the 1st Amendment religion clauses to the states (a process called “incorporation”); and (2) it stated that government had to be neutral between religion and non-religion (the prior principle was that government could favor religion generally, but could not favor one religion over another).

     

    Beautifully stated, Jerry. All accurate and depressing! Yes, progressivism has had its fits and starts, including, as you say, support of Republicans. Today we are paying the price for that support, and progressives keep pushing ahead. Thanks.

    • #5
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    It’s the morals, a republic must have a virtuous people to thrive. Take away the virtue and the republic collapses.

    You may be a debbie downer, Kevin, but you can’t argue with the truth. I also can’t give up on our future, in spite of the quote. Thanks.

    • #6
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I like to think that since we are a Republic and not a Democracy, we can right the defects and get back on track.

    Yes!

    • #7
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Mark Camp Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Hate being a Debbie downer.

    Yeah. We need Sheila to come in with a tray of her famous lemonade and say,

    “Let’s all take off our grumpy-pants, now.”

    • #8
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    “Let’s all take off our grumpy-pants, now.”

    (I have to remember to use this one with my husband.) ;-)

    • #9
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Vectorman Thatcher

    Susan Quinn:

    From bondage to spiritual faith……

    From dependence back into bondage.

    If we assume it takes 200 years to go through these 8 steps, that makes each step ~ 25 years, or about a generation. In trying to map each step to an approximate date, I run into problems. For example, the US had great spiritual faith before the Revolutionary War, but were the Colonials really in bondage? If the Civil War happened “four score and 7 years ago” or about 3 steps, where does that great event work on this timeline? It would seem like “abundance” occurred in the 1880’s – 1900’s. the Roaring 20’s, and after World War II.

    Susan Quinn: In one way, I can say that America has survived through many difficult times

    Because the US was founded originally on an idea more than just power against surrounding states, we have gone though many of these steps, but not exactly in the same sequence. But you are correct to be concerned.


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have only 3 days left on the May Signup SheetWe even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #10
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    If we assume it takes 200 years to go through these 8 steps, that makes each step ~ 25 years, or about a generation. In trying to map each step to an approximate date, I run into problems.

    You technical types are so cute! We could treat it as just a metaphor, @vectorman, although I like your analysis! ;-)

    • #11
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. SkipSul Moderator

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I like to think that since we are a Republic and not a Democracy, we can right the defects and get back on track.

    I think this points to the real battle that has been ongoing in the US now for over a century. We were a republic, and still are in many respects, but there are many who want to make us a democracy, and these have been in tension for a long time.

    I’ve been mulling over what is quoted in the OP for a long time. I think it’s actually incorrect.

    Susan Quinn: 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 over a loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by Dictatorship.”

    The focus on the public fisc, while understandable, actually misses the real problems. Athenian democracy did not collapse from the public voting itself more money. Nor did the Roman Republic. Nor did the Venetian Republic. I would argue instead that each of these collapsed because one faction or another decided that the system was “unfair” as it was constituted, grew impatient with reforming it, and so deliberately started breaking the parts of it they found unbearable. Yet in breaking those parts, they gave cover to other factions to break yet more parts (often before any new consensus could stabilize the new order and work out what the new rules were), leaving a situation that only dictatorship could stabilize. And these factions are very often similar in nature to what we have today – a tension over the extent of the franchise, and the line between republicanism and democracy, with the democratic faction itself often really only wanting pure democracy just long enough to make its reforms permanent, to then turn to dictatorial mob rule by demagogues.

    One need look no further than the bleak history of so many “republics” in South America over the 19th and 20th centuries. Argentina is still in this chaotic maelstrom, and Venezuela is entirely wrecked.

    • #12
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:32 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. Mark Camp Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    “Let’s all take off our grumpy-pants, now.”

    (I have to remember to use this one with my husband.) ;-)

    Oh, golly. Brown-Eyed Beauty and I got a laugh out of this one. (Libby the Replacement Cheese Dog kind of snorted, too.) Of course, we were already in a chortling mood because she is reading The Detectorist quotes to me at the moment, whence cometh my grumpy pants quote.

    By the way, I am unable to find a youtube hit or even a mention of Sheila’s “grumpy pants” line anywhere on the World Webs. I know: “Shut up!”, as Sophie would say.*

    *That’s from this scene:

    Lance:
    Listen… I’ve never admitted this to anyone but… I really won the lottery the day Maggie left me.

    Sophie:
    Right. You mean what? You didn’t realise at the time but actually it was the best thing that could have happened?

    Lance:
    Pardon?

    Sophie:
    You mean that, it was a good thing?

    Lance:
    What was?

    Sophie:
    Maggie leaving you.

    Lance:
    Eh?

    Sophie:
    What did you mean then, “I won the lottery”?

    Lance:
    I won the lottery the day Maggie left me.

    Sophie:
    Sorry, what do you mean?

    Lance:
    What part of “I won the lottery” don’t you understand?

    Sophie:
    You won the lottery?

    Lance:
    Yes.

    Sophie:
    The national lottery?

    Lance:
    Yes.

    Sophie:
    How much?

    Lance:
    Three hundred grand.

    Sophie:
    Shut up!

    • #13
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. PHenry Member

    Just saying, despair, sure, but don’t give up. It’s on us.

    • #14
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. MarciN Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    I would argue instead that each of these collapsed because one faction or another decided that the system was “unfair” as it was constituted, grew impatient with reforming it, and so deliberately started breaking the parts of it they found unbearable. Yet in breaking those parts, they gave cover to other factions to break yet more parts (often before any new consensus could stabilize the new order and work out what the new rules were), leaving a situation that only dictatorship could stabilize. And these factions are very often similar in nature to what we have today – a tension over the extent of the franchise, and the line between republicanism and democracy, with the democratic faction itself often really only wanting pure democracy just long enough to make its reforms permanent, to then turn to dictatorial mob rule by demagogues.

    I agree with this analysis. It’s how I see the rise-and-fall sequences too.

    To me, the story of Napoléon and Western Europe is the most vivid example of this sequence of events. 

    You can see such mechanics operating in families. While the family is new and building something, people put their pettiness aside and their shoulders to the work. Subsequent generations lose the vision and squander the accumulated wealth. 

    Societies need hope, vision, and leadership. Without those, crumbling occurs, as surely as night follows day. 

     

    • #15
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Mark Camp Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    The focus on the public fisc, while understandable, actually misses the real problems. Athenian democracy did not collapse from the public voting itself more money. Nor did the Roman Republic.

    Funny you should say that. Not long ago I read an interesting article somewhere by some historian* who happened to understand economics.

    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD). That is, interventionist policies (price controls) to try to fix the problems created by the failure of the previous one, starting with inflation.

    I’m no historian. Too busy with science (my specialty is rocket) and a little surgery (brain, mostly, just to have some folding money). But I will say it was a pretty convincing argument.

    *Someone around here will surely come up with the name of the author, and the title of the piece, and his wife’s name, also, what she was wearing at the time, which was either “cute”, or “tacky” most likely.

    If not, then we need to get more people on Ricochet who (a) are girls, and (b) like to read economics articles.

     

     

    • #16
    • May 15, 2019, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. SkipSul Moderator

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Funny you should say that. Not long ago I read an interesting article somewhere by some historian* who happened to understand economics.

    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD). That is, interventionist policies (price controls) to try to fix the problems created by the failure of the previous one, starting with inflation.

    The funny thing with historians (I’ve got a history degree too, BTW) is that some of them like to focus their view of history through their preferred lens. For some it is economics. For others (boobs like Jarred Diamond come to mind) it is technological determinism (he likes to ignore how and why western Europe developed its guns and steel, and overcame its germs). I have no doubt that inflation was prevalent in the late Republic, but to claim it was solely, or even predominantly the driving force is to miss why it was occurring. It’s just determinism in another guise, and a convenient way to sidestep the now out of vogue “Great Man” problem in history.

    Modern historians hate the “Great Man” concept, so much so that they refuse to see it even where present (Julius Caesar is uncomfortably unique, but they still try to avoid him), so broad-ranging economic theories are appealing and safe. But also myopic.

    Yes the late Republic had socialism by installments. The grain dole in Rome was undeniably damaging in the long term, but we should not overlook why it came into being – it was not merely a response to inflation, it was also a response to long-term damage to the early underpinnings of the Republic by a series of wars that had expanded Rome’s territory while shrinking its franchise (both in absolute – because the free-holding farmers had lost their own lands while fighting wars – and relative terms as the size of their nascent empire grew while the governing bodies did not).

    There are always multiple factors at play beyond economics, and if we only focus on our pet interests we miss the rest.

    • #17
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Vectorman Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD)

    Please explain the Roman method that caused inflation. Did they take gold/silver coins and debase the currency by adding lower value metals like tin / copper?

    • #18
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    And these factions are very often similar in nature to what we have today – a tension over the extent of the franchise, and the line between republicanism and democracy, with the democratic faction itself often really only wanting pure democracy just long enough to make its reforms permanent, to then turn to dictatorial mob rule by demagogues.

    One need look no further than the bleak history of so many “republics” in South America over the 19th and 20th centuries. Argentina is still in this chaotic maelstrom, and Venezuela is entirely wrecked.

    I think you are spot on, @skipsul. South America demonstrates how horrific the results can be. We shouldn’t assume it can’t happen to us.

    • #19
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Mark Camp Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

     

    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD).

    The funny thing with historians (I’ve got a history degree too, BTW) is that some of them like to focus their view of history through their preferred lens.

    I was careless in writing “because of”, so let me explain.

    Mises wrote that history can only be understood through the lens of a theory. Without a theory, one can perhaps replay the sequence of sights and sounds, but nothing more. He gives the example of the Soviet Union. One can describe it in terms of Marxist social theory, a certain military theory, a certain economic theory. If one’s theory is logically perfect, and if one matches the constructs of the theory more or less realistically to the data (applies the theory skillfully, in other words) one gains some partial understanding of the history.

    For some it is economics.

    For Mises, it doesn’t matter what lens the historian prefers. Lacking a correct economic theory, any explanation he gives of events that requires application of economic theory, say the Law of Comparative Advantage, will be incorrect or incomplete. But for Mises, economics (whether praxeology, or its sub-branch catallactics) only gives laws of economics, and economics can give you no explanation of physical phenomena, or about psychological ones. For him, the social sciences are built on top of logic, math, and the physical sciences. 

    For example, that humans have preferences is an axiom of pure praxeology. If you want to explain those preferences, you will need to do psychology. If you want to explain some category that is an axiom in theoretical psychology, you will need to do physics.

    So economic theory cannot possibly tell you that so-and-so happened because

    • King George III had inherited such and such a gene which caused mental illness X, or
    • his navy’s cannon did not provide enough energy to travel X distance. 

    To have a more complete understanding of history will always require more lenses.

    I have no doubt that inflation was prevalent in the late Republic, but to claim it was solely, or even predominantly the driving force is to miss why it was occurring.

    As I hope is clear from the above, the Austrian philosophers of scientific methodology, like Mises, do not believe that anything in history can be understood as being explainable solely through the lens of economic theory.

    There are always multiple factors at play beyond economics, and if we only focus on our pet interests we miss the rest.

    Correct. Mises would agree, as I hope I’ve explained.

     

    • #20
    • May 15, 2019, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Mark Camp Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD)

    Please explain the Roman method that caused inflation. Did they take gold/silver coins and debase the currency by adding lower value metals like tin / copper?

    Yes. I haven’t thought of the reference yet, sorry.

    Politicians have been inflationists since the beginning of money. Trump, with his needling the Fed Chairman for low interest rates, is only the latest in a millenia-long chain. Most, probably including Trump, actually believe their own absurd economic theory. For example, Mises gave a fascinating history of the post-Great War hyperinflation of Germany. The central bankers and the Reich never had even a clue about the cause of the price inflation that they were producing by creating money at an ever-accelerating pace. They rejected the Quantity Theory of Money as a silly English invention. Like Trump and most politicians of both parties (and most voters of both parties), they believed in the old pre-Adam Smith economic theory of Mercantilism.

    The other consistent behavior of politicians is to blame speculators, conspirators, and foreigners for the inexplicable (to them) effects of monetary inflation.

    • #21
    • May 15, 2019, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Henry Castaigne Member

    Genetic engineering will dramatically change everything. Once we create healthy and intelligent people who are more resistant to mental illness (I suspect we can do this in a decade or a decade and a half), we will create a population that can potentially be less reliant on the welfare state. Furthermore, sex robots might dramatically cut the rate of illegitimacy. 

    • #22
    • May 15, 2019, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    The focus on the public fisc, while understandable, actually misses the real problems. Athenian democracy did not collapse from the public voting itself more money. Nor did the Roman Republic.

    Funny you should say that. Not long ago I read an interesting article somewhere by some historian* who happened to understand economics.

    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD). That is, interventionist policies (price controls) to try to fix the problems created by the failure of the previous one, starting with inflation.

    I’m no historian. Too busy with science (my specialty is rocket) and a little surgery (brain, mostly, just to have some folding money). But I will say it was a pretty convincing argument.

    *Someone around here will surely come up with the name of the author, and the title of the piece, and his wife’s name, also, what she was wearing at the time, which was either “cute”, or “tacky” most likely.

    If not, then we need to get more people on Ricochet who (a) are girls, and (b) like to read economics articles.

    Confused by this. Are you referring to the Republic or the Empire? Inflation was not a significant issue for the Republic in contrast to the Empire and, even for the Empire, the worst period of inflation was in the 3rd century AD following by stabilization during the 4th, before the collapse in the West during the 5th. Moreover, the Eastern part of the empire, subject to the same inflationary pressures, survived for several more centuries.

    • #23
    • May 15, 2019, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Mark Camp Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment)

    Confused by this. Are you referring to the Republic or the Empire?

    Oops. Empire. Thanks for the catch.

    • #24
    • May 15, 2019, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I was just reviewing the OP quotation. The last categories were:

    From apathy to dependence;

    From dependence back into bondage.

    It occurs to me that we may be farther along than I want to admit. We could think of apathy as the lack of interest in our country’s history and excellence, and that the way the Left has been engaging people is with “things” and promises that will make them more and more dependent on the state. Isn’t that what they are hoping for? And then with dependence, will come bondage:we will continue to see our freedoms erode, essentially making us slaves to the state’s demands and expectations. That’s a pretty ominous picture. Thoughts, anyone?

    • #25
    • May 15, 2019, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Kevin Schulte Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I was just reviewing the OP quotation. The last categories were:

    From apathy to dependence;

    From dependence back into bondage.

    It occurs to me that we may be farther along than I want to admit. We could think of apathy as the lack of interest in our country’s history and excellence, and that the way the Left has been engaging people is with “things” and promises that will make them more and more dependent on the state. Isn’t that what they are hoping for? And then with dependence, will come bondage:we will continue to see our freedoms erode, essentially making us slaves to the state’s demands and expectations. That’s a pretty ominous picture. Thoughts, anyone?

    Refer to comment #2

    • #26
    • May 15, 2019, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Refer to comment #2

    So you agree with my analysis and I agree with your general outcome. [Sigh.] I guess I’m hoping someone will try to talk me out of it, @kevinschulte.

    • #27
    • May 15, 2019, at 4:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Kevin Schulte Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Refer to comment #2

    So you agree with my analysis and I agree with your general outcome. [Sigh.] I guess I’m hoping someone will try to talk me out of it, @kevinschulte.

    Maybe God will shed His Grace on this country once more. Pray for revival. 

    • #28
    • May 15, 2019, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    The focus on the public fisc, while understandable, actually misses the real problems. Athenian democracy did not collapse from the public voting itself more money. Nor did the Roman Republic.

    Funny you should say that. Not long ago I read an interesting article somewhere by some historian* who happened to understand economics.

    His thesis is that the Roman Republic collapsed because of inflation, followed by “socialism by installments,” as Mises called it (see my recent QOTD). That is, interventionist policies (price controls) to try to fix the problems created by the failure of the previous one, starting with inflation.

    I’m no historian. Too busy with science (my specialty is rocket) and a little surgery (brain, mostly, just to have some folding money). But I will say it was a pretty convincing argument.

    *Someone around here will surely come up with the name of the author, and the title of the piece, and his wife’s name, also, what she was wearing at the time, which was either “cute”, or “tacky” most likely.

    If not, then we need to get more people on Ricochet who (a) are girls, and (b) like to read economics articles.

    I dunno if this is the guy you’re thinking of, but H.J. Haskell wrote The New Deal In Old Rome back in 1939.

    “H.J. Haskell was a journalist with a background in ancient history, and here he does what everyone has wanted done. He details the amazing catalog of government interventions in old Rome that eventually brought the empire down. He shows the spending, the inflating, the attempt to fix prices and raise wages, the infrastructure boondoggles, the gross displays of public entertainment, the welfare scams, and much more.”

    It’s a free download here:

    https://mises.org/library/new-deal-old-rome-0

    • #29
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Mark Camp Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

     

    I dunno if this is the guy you’re thinking of, but H.J. Haskell wrote The New Deal In Old Rome back in 1939.

    “H.J. Haskell was a journalist with a background in ancient history, and here he does what everyone has wanted done. He details the amazing catalog of government interventions in old Rome that eventually brought the empire down. He shows the spending, the inflating, the attempt to fix prices and raise wages, the infrastructure boondoggles, the gross displays of public entertainment, the welfare scams, and much more.”

    It’s a free download here:

    https://mises.org/library/new-deal-old-rome-0

    • It might be but it doesn’t ring a bell. I did some searching around, and found articles on Mises.org and elsewhere addressing the topic, but mostly the inflation, and the one I was thinking covered also the late stages, when the countryside stopped producing food because the follow-on interventions.
    • This one sounds really interesting though. It goes into depth, it seems, and I think that my source was just a paper, not a book. So, THANKS.
    • #30
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
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