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The quote is usually attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), but it never appeared in any of his known published writings. The first verified appearance of the quote was in what appears to be an op-ed piece printed on page 12A of the newspaper "The Daily Oklahoman" on December 9, 1951 under the byline Elmer T. Peterson. It appeared as follows:

Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a Dictatorship, then a monarchy."

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This is the Hard Core of Freedom, by Elmer T. Peterson

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โˆ™ 2010-05-06 11:22:14
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Q: Who said A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury?
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