We’ve Been Here Before, Didn’t Learn a Thing! | TheUnion.com

We’ve Been Here Before, Didn’t Learn a Thing!

My friend Lou sent this about a month ago and, to be honest, I’ve been holding it — not sure whether to share. It kinda caught me off guard.

Most of you know my passion for history — all shapes, sizes and occupancy. This idea has been floating around in my brain for a longtime, just didn’t know of the studies mentioned in his email.

To be sure, you need but look at Greece, Italy (Rome), Egypt, the British Empire and so on, considered to be the world’s greatest and most successful societal civilizations at their time. Look at them now.

I think it’s time to share.

NOTE: The complete message has been edited to avoid its chronology and political slant. It’s about the history, not the blame.

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

In reading Tyler’s observation, Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, points out the United States (243 yrs old) is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase. He adds, “Some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.

Forty percent “Governmental dependency” is not clearly defined. In reading the above, a friend wondered if it included such things as; “well-earned Social Security, veterans receiving care, or others receiving such benefits for various reasons.”

Good question. Regardless, Thank you, Mr Cappello. As always, it’s an adventure, sir.


On a lighter note, over the course of the past two or three years, our community has experienced many changes, demographic, administration and reputation.

There’s a rumor floating around that our leaders are organizing an effort to rebrand us and our reputation, both locally and region-wide. I hope so.

It’s not uncommon for people meeting one for the first time and, after identifying oneself with Lake Wildwood, the first comment is, “How’s it going with your polluted lake?”

As we know now, “polluted” is a bit of a stretch — the kind used by the media to brand anything and everything with a “Breaking News” label.

I personally know a recent Bay Area immigrants/escapees couple who heard about our lake’s “pollution” before they even began the migration-East process. That’s sad.

Not only do we need to promote and better it to close neighbors here in the Valley of Penn — we share the same postal address after all— but also up the hill and on to other surrounding communities.

So, here’s to the rumor. I hope it’s real. Let’s work together to clean up our community’s image.


Next edition publishes Oct. 4. Deadline is Sept. 25. Don’t forget The Union’s 100% Design — Home Design & Inspiration Show, Oct. 5 and 6, Foothill Event Center in Grass Valley.

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