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Democracy is Not Freedom

September 16, 2010
Michael Shaw

[Ed. note ~ Tomorrow is “Constitution Day. What better time than now to reflect upon our freedoms & liberties as defined by the Constitution. What better time than now to decide once and for all, “Are we a Democracy?” or “Are we a Republic?”

Young Iranians thronged the streets of Tehran carrying signs in English proclaiming their march for “Democracy” and “Freedom”. The youth of America, the scholars, and increasingly the corporate professionals, regularly profess the same sentiments. This is troubling. The concepts of freedom and democracy conflict so regularly that Plato pronounced, “Democracy leads to anarchy, which is mob rule.” Freedom is the ability to decide and act for one’s self. Democracy requires all people to conform their action to the rule of the majority.

The systems of “justice” at play in America today also contrast. One supports individual freedom and equality of rights (rule of law, equal justice). The other system of justice supports democracy (rule by the majority, social justice).

American principles are based upon the core element of the Declaration of Independence – equal justice. This is the system of law that applies the same law to every person and which implements the concept of a higher law – labeled under the Declaration as “Unalienable Rights”. These are the rights imbued and inherent within each of us that allow all people to lead a life of one’s own, with the liberty to act and the right to the use and enjoyment of one’s private property.

Under equal justice, government power accordingly is limited. Such is the foundation of the American Republic. Today, that Republic is in near ruin. When a Republic that is granted limited power is replaced by a democracy with virtually unlimited power, the political recognition of unalienable rights is lost and mob rule replaces individual rights.

Democracy utilizes a different system of justice called social justice. Social justice generates differing results to different groups of people depending on the law’s finding of “common good”. Because the “common good” changes from day to day, no one can ever know who will have what rights tomorrow.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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