An excerpt from “To Sail beyond the Sunset”, by Robert A. Heinlein

“The America of my time is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy, in which every adult may vote and in which all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. 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 plebes discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit, and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they’ll do so. They’ll vote themselves bread and circuses everytime, until the state bleeds to death, or, in its weakened condition, the state succumbs to an invader, such as the barbarians entering Rome.”

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