Democracy, Tyranny, and Liberty

Do democracies promote freedom? According to Prof. Aeon Skoble, it is definitely possible for democracies to promote freedom, but it is not a guarantee. This is due to a few flaws inherent in democratic systems:

  1. Majority belief in something does not necessarily mean that it’s true.
  2. Majorities are capable of being just as tyrannical as kings.
  3. Historically, democracies have elected tyrannical leaders.
If freedom is the primary value of a society, democracy might still be of use so long as there are boundary conditions on the democratic process that protect the rights of the individual.

9 Comments

  1. Matt Wavle

    Right is RIGHT no matter who is AGAINST it.
    Wrong is WRONG no matter who is FOR it.

    TRUTH is never discovered by means of a popular vote.  
    I like where he says "just because most people agree that something is true doesn’t make it true".  This level of logic ought to be applied to the debate on so called "global warming".  And remember, the same group, back in the 70’s was calling for "The next great ice age."
    — Also, remember the quote from the movie, The Patriot, where Mel Gibson’s character says, "Why would I want to trade ONE tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants ONE mile away?"  If we had moved from a monarchy to a pure democracy, that’s exactly what would have happened.  The French Revolution is another example of the dangers of democracy.
  2. Matt Wavle

    Even if I were a devout Muslim, I would want MY motives to be seen as true, because my actions were voluntary, and not coerced.  Great point you make there Farid.

  3. Daniel Pealer

    Similarly, in practice one has to deal with the problem of the fallacy of moderation, may people pride themselves on being "moderates" because they stand approximately between what they see as the two extremes. However you are still wrong if you assert that 2+2=13 because you see the extremes as being 2+2=4 and 2+2=22. Halfway between the truth and a lie is still false.

  4. taschrant

    I think this is what our Republicans and Democrat friends in Congress have devolved into.  51% of the population pushing the other 49% around.  I think both parties are severely broken.

  5. Damian Gunjak

    The United States is a democracy, the republic died a long time, poor plate saw it all

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