No one has summed up the irresistible lure of bread and circuses better than this oft-misquoted yet cogent mash-up:
The release of initiative and enterprise made possible by self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again, after freedom brings opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent; the incompetent and unfortunate grow envious and covetous; and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the golden calf of economic security. The historical cycle seems to be: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.Today we as a society are somewhere between apathy and dependency. If the cycle of bondage can be prevented from descending from abundance, or brought back to abundance, the 2012 electorate needs to send representatives to the state legislatures, the Congress, and elect a President with the collective will to put aside bread and circuses, and let free enterprise work so the people can put bread back on their own tables.
1. "The Truth about Tytler," by Loren Collins, http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html, January 2009.