The Collapse of Great Civilizations: The Familiar Pattern

Prophet Statesmen, Ezra Taft Benson

History teaches that when individuals have given up looking after their own economic needs and transferred a large share of that responsibility to the government, both they and the government have failed.

At least twenty great civilizations have disappeared. The pattern is shockingly similar. All, before their collapse, showed a decline in spiritual values, in moral stamina, and in the freedom and responsibility of their citizens. They showed such symptoms as deficit spending, excessive taxation, bloated bureaucracy, government paternalism, and generally a rather elaborate set of supports, controls, and regulations, affecting prices, wages, production, and consumption.

Source: Ezra Taft Benson. Address at Brigham Young University, February 28, 1962. Ezra Taft Ben­son (1899–1994) served as thir­teenth Pres­i­dent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture for both terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. 

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