Free society is not free elections and democracy

In Capitalism Magazine Michael J Hurd has written an insightful essay titled “War and Peaceful Majority“. He describes why it is irrelevant what the majority of a nation believes in, because it is the government which gets to make the decisions which affect the future of everybody.

People generally are peace loving, but history has shown repeatedly – in Russia, Germany, China and other countries – that they cannot really stop a government from making gross and immoral decisions. Democracy, it can be argued, can bring in the change for the better. But for that, the democracy has to work; the people should be able to analyze the good from the bad, the ideal from the rhetoric and make their opinion heard. After all, Hitler did not start out as a dictator but he did manage to get absolute power from within a democracy.

The following quote rings so true today for US, as it does for India.

 A free society requires much, much more than free elections and democracy.
These are necessary tools, but they are not absolutes. There’s only one absolute in a free society: The right of the individual—each and every individual—to be free from the initiation of physical force. This right makes the necessity of a strong limited government—with a police force, military and civil/criminal court system—quite obvious.

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