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Democracies

"'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 they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and the productive members of the 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."

- To Sail Beyond the Sunset; Robert A. Heinlein