Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt, Democracy & Freedom

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
--The Who

Many people are hailing the overturn of the Egyptian government as a great day for freedom. In the sense that a mob was able to successfully throw off an undesirable dictator, it can be said that some Egyptian citizens were exercising freedom of choice.

However, this by no means suggests that the future of Egypt will be supportive of freedom in the classic liberal sense. More likely, the current power vacuum invites a new oligarchy, whatever its form, that will exercise a new brand of control over the country.

Calls are loud for democracy in Egypt. If by democracy it is meant that decisions are made by majority rule, then democracy is no friend of freedom. Democracy is mob rule. Whatever group can marshal enough votes in its favor rules the day. Interests of the minority are necessarily compromised.

The Founders understood the dangers of democracy. Their study of history told them that democracy creates instability rather than stability. This instability tilts the system toward chaos, and is a constant threat to liberty.

The word 'democracy' does not appear in the founding documents of the United States. Instead, the US was founded as a federal republic, to be governed by the rule of law rather than by the arbitrary rule of men.

If Egypt employs a democratic decision rule to decide their next form of government, then chance favors the advent of another ruling elite elected by whatever group can marshall the most votes. Mob rule and tyranny, rather than the rule of law and freedom.

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

There are two views of man, and each of us must choose which kind he’ll be:

Man, as responsible and worthy of freedom, or

Man, the weakling, whose life depends on the state’s permission or sufferance.

~Paul Poirot