Saturday, November 17, 2012

The historical cycle that rings true today

A friend* trying to console me after Mr. Obama's re-election, shared a timeless quote:
HENNING WEBB PRENTIS, JR

"Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.  The historical cycle seems to be: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more."
These prophetic words came from the leader of a Pennsylvania cork company during a speech given back on March 18, 1943.  The speech was delivered by Henning Prentis.  Mr. Prentis also believed this:

"At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas." (Industrial Management in a Republic, p. 22.).  

"Economic and political panaceas" might be a more elegant way of referring to Santa Claus-like candidates, but the concept still rings true today.

*Thanks, Kevin.