by Jeff Thomas
Regular readers of this publication will be familiar with my frequent comments that all countries have a shelf life – that they experience a slow rise, typified by a strong work ethic and a free-market philosophy, which results in a highly productive country. That productivity later results in a high level of sympathy for the disadvantaged, which political leaders turn into a justification for government largesse. That, in turn, results in a population that grows complacent and eventually apathetic, culminating in a decline into totalitarianism.
This pattern has existed for thousands of years. Sometimes, the process is a slow one, as in ancient Rome; sometimes, it can take place over mere decades.