Column: Let's not mandate teamwork

Friday, October 9, 2009

A friend was kind enough to share this historical information with me. Feeling it is so relative to our times, I am sharing it with you. Alexander Tytler (1747-1813,) a Scottish proferssor at University of Edinburgh, Scotland wrote the following :

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can [will] only exist until the voters discover that they can vote [for] themselves [to receive] largesse (a generous gift) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a [the] democracy always collapses over [as a result of ] loose fiscal policy.
"The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years.

These nations have [systematically] progressed through this sequence:

from bondage to spiritual faith;

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from great courage to liberty;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to complacency;

from complacency to apathy;

from apathy to dependency [upon the government];

from dependency back again into bondage" [enslaved by the government]

Alexander Tytler

Where in this process do you see the United States currently? "The United States could never go back into bondage," you may say. Really? Do we look more like America or Amerika when we are staring at a mandate to carry health insurance, or when a private insurance company is forbidden to send out literature advising its own customers of the negative aspects of the health care reform bills? Do we look more like America or Amerika when doctors arrive at the White House, some not knowing why they have been invited, and being handed lab coats by staffers [as doctors reported to Kathryn Serkes, American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.] just prior to the president's recent TV appearance? The implication being that all doctors present support President Obama's health care plan, which is false according to Serkes. Readers my age may have a flash back to Russian propaganda during the Cold War. That would be funny if it weren't so familiar.

In America solving issues as a team is voluntary. In Amerika teamwork would be mandated. Olympians, artists, writers, and doctors and scientists from varied fields of knowledge and expertise have defected from governments whose mandates stifled creativity, innovation, and vision. They have no desire for history to repeat itself.

Distrust of government is not new to our times. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights came out of an intense distrust of government. Giving power to the people, the framers provided "outs" if at any time it appeared to the people the power was shifting. We can stop the rush toward repeating the history Tytler described, but only if individuals stay vigilant and have the will to do so.