Thursday, February 12, 2009

Democracy is no guarantee of freedom

Democracy is no guarantee of freedom

For most of Western history, democracy was feared precisely because of its effect on human liberty. Democratic governments, most thinkers believed, would force everyone to think and act the same, including people with unique and real talent to contribute to society. The purpose of government is to protect people in their lives, liberty, and property. Democracy is inclined to take the property of one and give it to another--that is, to "redistribute wealth" in our Orwellian argot--whether from the rich to the poor, as the ancients believed, or as is more common today, from the politically impotent to the politically powerful. When unchecked, democracy tends not to respect the rights of individuals. One need only think of the terror of Robespierre, who professed democratic aims, or of the evil of Hitler, who--we too readily forget--was democratically elected.

1 comment:

Mike Fulton said...

Democracy is simply ochlocracy on a more complicated scale.

Great blog.