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!