Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Wisdom of Heinlein

I'm typing this at just after 10 pm on Election Night, and it looks like Obama will win re-election. Some words from the late, great Robert A. Heinlein are germane:

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”

Enjoy that bread and those circuses while you can, plebs.


Jon said...

Moral History Class? Tunnel in the Sky?

Bob said...

@Jon: I found it here. I'm told it's a quote from To Sail Beyond the Sunset. He's expressed similar sentiments before, however; I found a similar quote in Expanded Universe.