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Beyond Democracy, Toward Freedom

by Chris Bassil
In addition to his career in medical research, he is a freelance writer in the anarchocapitalist tradition. He has been published on the Mises Institute’s website and runs the Austro-libertarian blog, Hamsterdam Economics.

As Americans, many of us have learned since the time we were small to associate the democratic form of collective decision-making that governs us with the very essence of freedom itself. In fact, many of us have even come to understand these two not as the separate and distinct phenomena that they are, but rather as similar and partnered sides of the same coin. In school, for instance, we have recited the Pledge of Allegiance each and every morning, separating the republic from liberty by little more than a breath before we begin our day. In the media and in politics, we have been fed an obsession with the free world, and have been convinced that much of what lies outside of it must be made safe for democracy. Even in our entertainment programs, we witness the two as inextricably bound up with one another: in the recent premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO television series The Newsroom, for example, the main character reprimands a neoconservative for his assertion that America’s freedom makes it the best country in the world. “There are 207 sovereign states in the world,” he scoffs, “and, like, 180 of them have freedom.” Read the rest of this entry