The Nine Stages Of Every Democracy

An American business executive, Henning Prentiss, theorized in 1943 in a New York City speech that all democracies have nine distinct phases. Inevitably, every citizen receives some form of benefit and henceforth, the entire country will crash and burn with most likely a military dictatorship filling the void.

1. Bondage (1607 to 1734): The English escaped religious persecution by starting Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 and then Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. For centuries prior to this, the British were forced to live under the iron fists of dozens of tyrants. The 13 colonies' profits were sent back to London in the form of copious taxes. The Puritans counted their blessings because at least they had religious freedom.

2. Spiritual Faith (1734 to 1776): The Great Awakening in the Thirteen Colonies fomented economic prosperity. Citizens felt protected by a Higher Power---God, Jehovah, The Creator, Whomever---and destined for greatness as if ordained from above. Thus began a healthy skepticism of the centuries-old United Kingdom tradition of power usurped by royalty.

3. Courage (1776 to 1787): Benjamin Franklin said during this time: "We must hang together or we will certainly hang separately!" Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, et al obviously would have been executed for treason if we had lost the American Revolution. Imagine picking a fight with the world's most powerful military, and then deciding to create the first constitutional republic in world history. Ultimately, the government was led by George Washington, who voluntarily sacrificed his own power for the new republic and for the freedom of its people. He stepped down instead of being king for life---very few people in his namesake city have that kind of courage today.

4. Liberty (1787 to 1945): The golden age of both personal and economic freedom. No income tax existed until 1913, and most of the government's power existed in the form of local authority (sheriffs, judges, schoolmasters, mayors, and police). Our nation was tested for four years during the Civil War, but liberty prevailed over oppression. Liberty all around the world was tested by the Nazis and thank God it prevailed again. Today, individualism has been eroded by government---both too much of it and too much citizen dependence on it. Considering the state of affairs today, ironic that this is by far the longest of all the stages.

5. Abundance (1945 to 1963): America found itself as the world's preeminent economic machine as Europe struggled to recover from World War II. Big houses in the suburbs, two car garages, color televisions, expensive appliances, and fancy vacations became the norm---as did paying for all of it on credit.

6. Selfishness (1963 to 1989): Assassinations of two Kennedys and one King, millions of whites trying to stop Civil Rights for blacks, The Pentagon lying about Vietnam, Nixon lying about Watergate, Baby Boomers burning both bras and draft cards, dishonesty and incompetence with the Iran hostage/Iran Contra situation, Junk Bonds, and the greed and excess of the 1980s----all due to millions of individuals becoming a lot more selfish. We pointed fingers when things went wrong, and rolled around in money when things went right.

7. Complacency (1989 to 2005): The Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union both fell and so did our level of caring. Millions were slaughtered in Bosnia and in Rwanda and we called a press conference or two. The World Trade Center was destroyed, and we were unified for about a month. Millions screamed about the incompetence and dishonesty of the Bush Administration (not that John Kerry would have been any better), but more people cared about Fantasia on American Idol and Bush was reelected. There were no weapons of mass destruction, but one question from this era remains----Did he have relations with that woman?

8. Apathy (2005-2008): Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and ruined millions of lives. Equal reprehensibility was heaped upon the people who refused to leave and on the feds that were slow to respond. Equal amounts existed of criticism for the government and the begging of assistance from it. Equal shame belonged on the bureaucrats and on the Superdome parasites asking for Dr. Pepper instead of bottled water. Some Katrina victims mooched in FEMA trailers for FOUR YEARS after the storm. The housing bubble burst thanks to Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, greedy lenders, and lying mortgage applicants. Updates on the Iraq war scrolled across television bottoms, and we wondered if Brad & Angelina would adopt again.

9. Fear (2008-Present): The stock market crashed and the country became terrified of a POW Senator of 22 years experience and his inexperienced beauty queen running mate who doesn't read anything not printed in Alaska. America took a chance on an eloquent Marxist possessing far more charm than experience. Americans are now afraid of taking responsibility for our health care, so we allowed the passage of an unconstitutional bill in March 2010. Both sides of the aisle benefit from illegal immigration, so politicians are afraid of arresting 12 million criminals. Five days before making history on Election Day 2008, The Community Organizer In Chief proclaimed he would "fundamentally transform the United States of America". Perhaps that ball was already rolling before he was born.

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