We’ve been brought up to think that democracy, i.e., rule by the people, is a good thing. Most of the wars that the United States has fought in its history have been, purportedly, to make the world safe for democracy or to spread democracy to those who have lived under oppressive tyrannies. It would be safe to say that for the ordinary American, democracy is equivalent with liberty. It’s often been said that democracy may not be the perfect form of government, but it’s better than all its predecessors.
I want to debunk this notion. As I’ve studied the concept of individual liberty, I’ve come to realize that not only is democracy not equivalent with liberty, but in some subtle ways, democracy may be even more detrimental to individual liberty than other forms of government. Some of the most evil and oppressive regimes in the past century were democratically elected, yet they did more harm to the cause of individual liberty than the old monarchies of Europe.