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Democracy Opposes Freedom

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Michael S. Rozeff
Lew Rockwell Blog
October 7, 2013

The basic beliefs of Fukuyama and McFaul concerning freedom are representative of an overwhelming number of intellectuals and politicians in western societies, and they are attempting to spread their views to all other societies. Their view also permeates western societies, because vast numbers of people mistakenly accept the (democratically) legal as what is (naturally) lawful, even though the naturally lawful is based on opposite premises to the democratically legal.

Most intellectuals think of freedom as being the liberty of a citizen who has an equal participation in a democratic whole. But since a citizen is a legal role, not a person, not a natural person, and not even thought of as a human being, these intellectuals have a de-humanized conception of the human being. They reduce the human being to a citizen role or to a number of similar categories like worker, farmer, gay, policeman, soldier and gun-owner. Each category then has different “laws” that apply to it.

To most of today’s intellectuals, liberty within that citizen role is thought of as freedom. They do not conceive of freedom as a condition in which a person belongs to himself and to no one else. Instead, as they see it, either the citizen belongs to everyone else and everyone else to him in a communist-style collective or citizen state with a general will (see Rousseau); or else every citizen is a subject who belongs to the rulers of the State (see Hobbes). However, they think of such citizens as being “free” because they have a vote.

By contrast, the libertarian idea of freedom is that human beings are natural persons who belong only to themselves (see Locke). Such persons have societies that are based on freedom among likes. Everyone is naturally a self-owner who possesses his or her own free will, body, mind and separate humanity from anyone else. Each person is unique.

Rather than thinking of human beings as possessing this kind of freedom and likeness (and the justice that flows from them), most intellectuals are thinking of freedom and equality as arising through legalities constructed by democratic procedures and institutions. Actually, those procedures and institutions produce inequalities and destroy the freedom of natural human beings.

I am doing no more than explaining and paraphrasing some of the thought of Frank van Dun, who has analyzed the logic of law in the most precise way I have ever seen. He writes

“The vigorous currents of egalitarian and collectivist thought in the twentieth century and the strident rhetoric of ‘solidarity’ indicate the enduring popularity of the mereological conception of the human person as an integral and dependent part of a larger whole. So does the conception of his liberty as equal participation in the ‘democratic self-determination’ of that whole. It obviously does not bear any resemblance to a person’s freedom within the natural law. As far as a seemingly overwhelming majority of Western intellectuals is concerned, the idea of justice as freedom among likes holds no attraction at all. Even many ‘liberals’ cannot break free from the modern conception of liberty and equality as nomocratic legal constructs that must be democratically validated, regulated and enforced.”

This article was posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

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