The Tytler Cycle Revisited

July 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

John Eberhard talks about how he became very interested in a theory developed by Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, and wrote an article on it at the time, which ironically enough is now getting a lot of attention due to being linked to from Wikipedia.

In 1787 Tytler looked at every known political democray and discovered a common societial life cyle that had a span of about 200 years .Tytler’s theory set forth a cycle that every democracy goes through, which goes like this. Tytler said the cycle starts out with a society in bondage. Then it goes in this sequence:

(1) Bondage                         (2)  Spiritual Faith            (3) Courage
(4) Liberty                              (5)  Abundance                (6) Selfishness
(7) Complacency                 (8)   Apathy                        (9) Dependence

After the 9th step each society reverted back to Bondage.

Alexander Tytler went on to state that:

“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.”

Read more about  Alexander Tytler on John Eberhard’s Blog: