Monday, November 30, 2009

On mistaking “democracy” for “liberty”

"Probably no other belief is now so much a threat to liberty in the United States and in much of the rest of the world as the one that democracy, by itself alone, guarantees liberty."

"…[T]he citizens of a democracy have in their hands the tools by which to enslave themselves."

"[The] illusion, that the democratic process is the same as liberty, is an ideal weapon for those few who may desire to destroy liberty and to replace it with some form of authoritarian society; innocent but ignorant persons are thereby made their dupes. Under the spell of this illusion, liberty is most likely lost and its loss not discovered until too late. Liberty can easily be taken from the individual citizen, piece by piece and always more and more, as more and more persons under the spell of the same illusion join the Pied Piper proceedings. Finally, all liberty is gone and can be recovered only by a bloody revolution."

"The right to vote… assures only the liberty to participate in the process. It does not assure that every-thing done by the process shall automatically be in the interests of liberty. A populace may commit both political and economic suicide under a democracy.
"There is no certainty whatever that liberty in a country with a democratic form of government is at a higher level than in a country having some other mechanism of government. There is no certainty that liberty will be maintained where the founders of a democracy may have hoped that it would be pre-served."

-- Harper, Dr. Floyd A. Liberty - A Path to Its Recovery. Irving-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, The, 1949

No comments: