Many people think the US stands for democracy. That is not exactly correct. The US stands for a government that protects the liberties and rights of its people. Did you know the word democracy is not found in the US Constitution or the US Declaration of independence? I think few Americans know this. I recommend reading these documents.
Try to find the word “democracy” here:
Find anything about the US mission to spread democracy around the world or justice is found in more material equality.
An indirect democracy in the United States was established as a way to safeguard the rights of the people. From whom? The government, of course.
The highest law of the land, the constitution, is about rights, not democracy. The Federalist Papers and James Madison cautioned against majoritarianism.
We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different. – Ron Paul
Because we are in a democracy, it lulls citizens thinking that your rights are protected and everything is fine. It is not fine. Democracy is good and helps, and I support democracy, but it is not the summum bonum of political science. The government protecting individual liberties is the whole point of government.
Do republics turn bad? There are countless cases in world history where democratic governments fail to protect the rights of citizens, corruption, a slide into socialism, a maternal state that takes care of people from the cradle to the grave but at a high unseen price, strong charismatic leaders abusing power, especially the military.
President Bush said he believes in the US mission is to spread democracy through the world, and Obama ironically is also doing it. Bush even wrote a book about this. My question is have they read the US Constitution or the Declaration of independence? Where does it say this is the US mission? Where is the word democracy in these documents?
Democracy is majoritarianism and can be corrupted and turn to an agent of darkness. Think of the story of ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson. If you have not read this story, I recommend it.
Can a good government exist without a democracy? On the other hand, English citizens achieved a relative degree of freedom under a monarchy for centuries. Plato’s philosopher-king comes to mind; even though this was a metaphor it still has merit.
What is the point of elections? Yes, democracy is the best form of government, but only if the people in the republic vote with freedom and the constitution in mind. Voters need to be aware that the whole point of government in any form is to protect the rights of the people from government, foreign or domestic. Vote for the person who will protect your freedom, not who throws around the word democracy.
Why? How many authoritarian countries are called something like this the ‘People’s Democratic Republic of so and so’. Politicians love to misuse and manipulate people with the word democratic. But a person who promises to protect your liberty against the government is the person who understands the spirit of why we had an American revolution in 1776.
What did Partick Henry say? ‘Give me democracy or give me…’? I think not.
The founding fathers set up an indirect democracy rather than a direct democracy with a strong constitution to protect against this type to the tyranny of the masses. That is, laws being passed that do not agree with the idea of liberty. The constitution is the check and safeguard. The constitution was set up to protect the people from the government, the architecture of the US-centered on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not democracy per say. It was very wise to set the country up this way.
Think of all the democracies from Ancient Rome in the time of Julius Caesar to Germany in the 30s that took the wrong turn of giving power to the government, even in a republic or democracy, rather than the government being the guardians of liberty of the people.
What was the idea behind the enlightenment?
The whole idea of the enlightenment was individuals given a high degree of liberty and rights would create a better society that would lead to greater happiness for the individual and society than any government; even democracy could orchestrate. The greater good for society is maximizing liberty for individuals.
- Maximize and protect liberty and the greatest good for society is achieved. Many people do not understand this. The idea of the enlightenment is there is no way a government or anything from above can achieve this. Each person acting on their own enlightened self-interest will bring society to a greater level for all.
- What about the common good vs. individual rights? I hear this argument a lot, and people often are willing to submit their rights here and there for the common good. Well, the enlightenment philosophers already thought about this and debated this idea of Social contracts and freedom. You can go back and read them from John Locke to Adam Smith, but the idea is when individuals are acting where freedom is maximized (though a small intrusiveness state) the common good is achieved, not by legislating laws to force people into a collective common good, but through enlightened self-interest. It is a clear moral argument as well as an economic, political ideal.
When democracies fail
They fail all the time. So often it is almost a joke.
- High taxes – You work more days for our democracy than the feudal serf did for his master.
- Government surveillance – The government watches us at a level higher than you can imagine. If you protest, even for peace, you are put on a list, and if you cause too much of a stir, you can be crushed.
- Military imperialism – Being a democracy gives many nations a feeling of holier than thou. They feel they can crusade for democracy like the medieval crusaders for religion. Military direct and indirect costs for this crusade is astronomical.
- Monopoly on the money supply – The other day, some guy minting liberty dollars was in court, and it does not look good. The dollars were made with real metal and could be traded as barter. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is printing fiat money like crazy and this does affect your freedom and pursuit of happiness which is beyond the scope of this article.
- A government agency for every problem – “Government is the problem” – Ronald Reagan
What is freedom?
Conservatism has corrupted freedom by selling you that freedom means to build the strong United States. A great nation, a grandiose notion, even a social utopian world order society based on visionary principles and expand this to other people in the world who thirst for democracy.
This could include expanding the policing of its citizens and expand the military sphere of influence if necessary. They do it even with the words of God and blessings mixed in public politics to get votes and beating of drums. Politicians even see the military as on a mission from above. This upset me as a Christian. The Pope just wrote a book ‘Violence never in God’s name’.
Liberalism has corrupted freedom to equate with material security guardianship by the government. Big government is the way to micromanage life. Wrong. I live in a post-communist country; this will destroy the human spirit.
Freedom is nothing more than guarding against government coercive power. The next time you hear a politician utter the word democracy, ask him what he is doing about your freedom.
So what is the US about?
Read how the US is all about freedom and rights.