Freedom vs. Unlimited Majority Rule

Great piece on Intellectual Conservative:

The concept of freedom rests on a government limited to the protection of individual rights, while the concept of democracy rests on a government run by unlimited majority rule; we need to stop confusing these two opposite ideas.

America’s foreign policy has led to a bizarre contradiction. President Bush claims to be pursuing freedom in the world, so that Americans will be safer. Yet this campaign’s results — a more zealous proponent of terrorism in the Palestinian Authority, and the prospect of theocracy in Iraq — are posing even greater threats to us.

The cause of this failure is Mr. Bush’s hopeless view that tyranny is reversed by the holding of elections — a view stemming from the widespread confusion between freedom and democracy.

Ask a typical American if there should be limits on what government may do, and he would answer: yes. He understands that each of us has rights which no law — regardless of how much public support it happens to attract — is entitled to breach. An advocate of democracy, however, would answer: no.


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