(Note: this essay originally appeared in 2011 on this web site with a different title.)
Most people really have no desire to be free — they only want to be taken care of, and will give up almost any freedom in exchange for the promise of security.
I’m one of those people who would rather be hungry and free than a full-bellied slave. There are fewer of us than there are those with the opposite preference.
“Democratic government” means a majority of people imposing their will on the minority. (Or, as someone famously commented, two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.) Since those who prefer freedom to security are in the minority, democratic government inevitably becomes tyrannical.
Those who profess to believe that “democracy” and “freedom” mean the same thing are either ignorant, (most people fall into this category ), or else they are disingenuous.
Those who seek power fall into the latter category. You can recognize these people quickly: they’re the ones who are always telling someone else what to do.
Etiene de La Boetie famously observed in the 16th century that a tyrant is able to maintain his power because the people he enslaves allow it. I don’t think people have changed much in five centuries, do you?
Here in the united states, (lower case intentional), our government:
- robs from the poor and middle class so that rich bankers don’t have to suffer any losses
- sexually assaults us at airports
- dictates to us what we they will or will not permit us to put in our own bodies
- reads our mail
- taps our phones
- imprisons us on a whim
- takes our money because they can
…and on and on ad nauseum.
Why, I ask you, do we have that sort of government? Isn’t ours a democratic government?
The prosecution rests.