Portrait_of_The_Hon._Alexander_Fraser_Tytler,_Lord_Woodhouselee

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.”

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