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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Once Again, Democracy Is Not Freedom (and We Are Not the Government)

Once Again, Democracy Is Not Freedom (and We Are Not the Government):

"Let's not forget the simple truth that democracy is not freedom. Thus, the mere fact that many of the Iraqi people voted in a national election does not mean that Iraqis are now free or that they're going to be free in the near future. In fact, given the political and religious beliefs of the Shiite group that garnered the most votes, early indications are exactly the opposite.

"What?" you ask. "How can that be? Democracy is freedom! President Bush and our military leaders tell us so."

Unfortunately, however, it just ain't so. President Bush and the Pentagon are as wrong about freedom and democracy as they were about WMDs in Iraq.

The fact is that democracy is the very worst form of government there is, except for all the rest, as Winston Churchill once pointed out. Its only real advantage, as Ludwig von Mises observed, is that it provides the citizenry with the ability to peacefully change a regime by voting it out of office. To change a totalitarian regime almost always entails violence, such as a revolution.

What ultimately matters with respect to freedom is not so much how a ruler is selected but rather the extent of the ruler's powers once he's installed into office."