Wisdom Of The Day: Henning Webb Prentis, Jr.

The Cycle of Nations: “From bondage to spiritual faith. From spiritual faith to great courage. From courage to liberty. From liberty to abundance. From abundance to selfishness. From selfishness to complacency. From complacency to apathy. From apathy to dependency. From dependency back again into bondage.”

 ~ Henning Webb Prentis, Jr.

* Often, the above quote is credited to Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler. However, after researching the quote, I found an excellent source of info that notes the origination of the quote to be from a speech given by Henning Webb Prentis, Jr. who was the President of  the Armstrong Cork Company and first spoken in 1943. If you would like to review the material associated with this discovery, please go HERE. For the purposes of putting the quote into full context(and saving you the time to read it on another page), here is the quote as it is taken from an excerpt of the speech…

“Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the 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.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas. New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies. Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a
fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas. Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all. Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three milleniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out. Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States. Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the
nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties. The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction. – Henning W. Prentis, Industrial Management in a Republic, p. 22″

Tell me that this one didn’t make you think for a moment?!? It sure sounds like what we’re experiencing today… and I don’t know about you but I don’t like where we are in the cycle!


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7 Responses to Wisdom Of The Day: Henning Webb Prentis, Jr.

  1. Great catch. It very well could have been written yesterday. Scary!

  2. That could have been pulled out of the headlines of today…Chilling, that history and the fallaciousness of man gets repeated over and over again to the detriment of us all. How many times do you have to tell people to heed history, that as the Bible says “there is nothing new under the sun”. That the enemy of our souls recycles the same old tired and disgraced ideologies over and over again to trap and kill as many of us as possible? How many times does marxism and communism have to be tried before mankind realizes it is DEATH & bondage to another man? It makes me physically ill and bone-tired to watch it happen to our great Republic. The ONLY place on earth in history that has given man a chance to live in complete liberty…lets not let idiots f*ck this up for us and subsequent generations…

  3. gramps says:

    The sad truth is that the cycle is (and has been) inevitable; leading to the reality that your ultimate vote is with your feet. Yet if we can re-educate our youth with Milton Friedman and dump John Maynard Keynes, there could be hope for our progeny. ME? For the first time, death has become a viable option. “Who is John Galt?”

  4. Pingback: Where Shall We Go from Here? | Brett Rodriguez

  5. Gradivus says:

    More of Prentis, from the same speech:

    “Obviously also, private business cannot exist without constant accretions of new capital. Unless the financially competent are in position to furnish it, the state must supply it, and when government becomes the primary source of capital funds, national socialism automatically displaces representative democracy.”

  6. Jerry miller says:

    If you like Prentis, read James Lincoln’s(Lincoln Electric Founder)”A New approach to Industrial Economics” , written in 1960….. Same Message….. Only the majority now Thrives on Dependency & could care less about FREEDOM & as the Cycle has proven over time, most Conservatives are apathetic!

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