The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from great courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again to bondage."
- Sir Alex Fraser Tytler 1787