Of late I’ve been delving into the works of Paine, Plutarch, Cicero and others in order to fill the gaps in my very patchy education. A friend and fellow whiskey snob pointed me in the direction of Jacob Burckhardt, a 19th Century Swiss Historian who came up with the following gem;
“the state incurs debts for politics, war, and other higher causes and ‘progress’. . . . The assumption is that the future will honor this relationship in perpetuity. The state has learned from the merchants and industrialists how to exploit credit; it defies the nation ever to let it go into bankruptcy. Alongside all swindlers the state now stands there as swindler-in-chief.”
What was true then still seems to be the case.
Ah, me. The more things change, the more they stay the same.