What are the Limits of Democracy?

People often associate freedom with electoral democracy. According to Prof. Pavel Yakovlev, the freedom to vote is an inherently limited tool for fostering a free society. Although majority vote can serve as a useful tool for expressing the will of the people, it can be taken too far.

Imagine a world governed entirely by majority votes—including your personal decisions! Would you be happy if a majority vote determined who you could date? What you could eat? Now consider the world you currently live in, where you make decisions and purchases in the context of a marketplace. In a market, you can choose goods, services, and activities that diverge from majority trends. Moreover, markets also provide a greater number of choices.
Free markets and limited government depend upon and facilitate individualized and decentralized choices; they create the conditions necessary for a truly free and democratic society.

10 Comments

  1. Dusty Aud

    One of my favorite quotes on democracy:  "Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else."  – Hans-Hermann Hoppe

  2. Daniel Pealer

    The sad fact is that despite democracy and freedom being identified as one and the same democracies have been proven to produce some of he worst governmental outcomes when the worst float to the top.

  3. libertyiowa

    Isn’t is possible to have more freedom in non-democratic society. In theory, couldn’t a benevolent monarchy give more freedom than a rule of the masses?  

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