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Is democracy freedom or mob rule?

  1. cjhunsinger profile image73
    cjhunsingerposted 3 years ago

    Is democracy freedom or mob rule?

    I would assert that a free and open society is one based upon certain principles of freedom, as contained in the American Bill of Rights and that a  democratic process will inevitably destroy such a concept. Essentially, such freedom, is the freedom to achieve and an  economic structure of free enterprise capitalism is inherently entwined in this concept of freedom.
    Perhaps, the best observation of the value of democracy is this quote.
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  2. connorj profile image75
    connorjposted 3 years ago


    I have thought deeply about this; contemplating it in reference to both Canada and the United States. It is my opinion as it stands now, that it gives power to minority opinion and creates a normalization of these minority opinions to the population through the engine of "political correctness." Anything that is not deemed "political correctness" is steamrolled over. This term "political correctness" indeed is what needs to be wrestled with. I am not stating that every aspect of this political correctness is incorrect.
    Now if The expression "politically correct" came about in the 1970's and was intended to mean "inclusive." It referred to the use of language that would not cause an individual of any demographic (social or cultural) group to feel excluded, offended, or diminished then there has been a change. It now seems to have been redefined by those who prefer an exclusive culture and dominance for themselves or their group. This is indeed dangerous.

    1. cjhunsinger profile image73
      cjhunsingerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      connerj---Thank you for your thoughts on this. Political correctness is no less than a political mandate attempting to socially engineer a society. George Orwell describes it as, Newspeak.

    2. connorj profile image75
      connorjposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, C.J. forgive me for reading 1984 during my formation to seriousness. Although I did indeed read Orwell my capacity for comprehension back in my "dark age" or Teen (e) mind period was less than limited. I must re-associate with "Newspeak"

    3. cjhunsinger profile image73
      cjhunsingerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      connerj--It is a nightmarish book. A reading of the life of Orwell would be good.

    4. connorj profile image75
      connorjposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed, not only is your advice warranted it appears to be significantly well-founded to consider the inception of a hyphen between well and founded.

    5. lone77star profile image83
      lone77starposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Beautiful, connerj. Orwellian Newspeak, indeed, CJ. We see this in the News with US war as "peacekeeping" action and the marginalization of "conspiracies" as something weird. Conspirators love the fact that mainstream isn't looking at them.

  3. pattyfloren profile image79
    pattyflorenposted 3 years ago

    I can follow the logic of political correctness because I ran across this book abt philosophy and this book made a statement abt politics.  It basically contended that certain individuals like politicians take cultural norms and turn the reactions of this to determine what is politically correct.  If a society does not have a agenda as to what is correct, or refuse to realize most people have this internal sense of right and wrong and decide to do wrong over right, they have no society.  If that makes for a mob, then it fits because mobs don't think reasonably and hurt others.  A way of getting the other person to see the error of their ways is to give insight.  One can do better in this scenario if they make an argument at least to bridge the gap.

  4. chef-de-jour profile image97
    chef-de-jourposted 3 years ago

    Democracy you could argue is the best method of keeping the mob at bay and is worth pursuing because it allows individuals at least the option to contribute to the political scene, via relative free speech and a usually honest vote. Democracy allows mobs but doesn't allow them to rule - it depends on your definition of mob.
    Compared to other systems democracy seems the most likeliest to achieve maximum happiness for the majority of citizens, although I'm sure there are one or two tribal Kings in remote parts of Africa, and a Sheikh or three from the Middle East, willing to debate that point!
    As a UK citizen (and Orwell fan) I know that political processes here are largely dictated by rhetoric, money, spin and corporate manipulation of the media - I feel free as a lamb and yes, I would vote with two wolves for the lunch as long as it wasn't me on the menu!     
    A free and open society is an ideal, unattainable in a pure form, but an ideal we should always be able to work towards without censorship and state violence. Individual rights versus political correctness and fashion is an ongoing process in a democracy (not even thought of in a dictatorship) and whilst this could lead to mild forms of anarchy when the going gets tough, better the devil we know than inviting to power right wing extremists and other fanatical elements.

    1. cjhunsinger profile image73
      cjhunsingerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Chef---Well said. I would disagree on your 'two wolves', as this is where integrity would enter. Also the value of inalienable rights, exempt from the mob, so far.

  5. Old-Empresario profile image87
    Old-Empresarioposted 3 years ago

    It's mob rule; at least in any nation-state. The only way it really might work is at the tribal and at the smallest city-state level. And even then, there would have to be civil responsibilities like mandatory terms of military or law-enforcement service, etc. On Benjamin Franklin's point, there would have to be only "wolves" in that society and no "lambs". The "lambs" would have their own city state. Now that slavery has been eradicated and now that women and blacks have equal rights, a good system for the US is the one originally devised: an oligarchical republic. Only those over the age of 20 owning (not paying a mortgage on) real property should vote. That's about 20 Million people or so. They should get to vote for their state legislators and their Representative to Congress. That's the extent of government participation for the masses. The US Senators should be chosen by state legislatures. The president should be the man who gets the most votes from the electors selected by the state legislatures. And the runner-up should be the Vice President. The last proper election ever had in the US with a meaningful vice president was in 1800.

    1. cjhunsinger profile image73
      cjhunsingerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent.  Your thinking as to where our current aberration of the Constitution will take us?

  6. lone77star profile image83
    lone77starposted 3 years ago

    The quote is misattributed to Franklin. According to Wikiquotes, "lunch" didn't appear in English literature until about 1820, long after Franklin's death. I love the idea that he said would have said it, but it's apparently a modern fiction.

    Democracy can be both freedom and mob rule. But what does "mob" mean? It means a large and disorderly crowd. Free to loot and pillage? The implication, here, is that the mob cannot think clearly and rationally.

    The real problem is with Ego -- the heart of self-concern. Ego is separate from others and selfish. We can never be entirely free (of suffering of any kind) if we are self-concerned.

    Democracy in America is actually masking the real problem. Our ability to vote is merely a sham. As Stalin once said, "I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how."

    There is evidence of voting being hacked as early as 2000. One Florida precinct noted negative vote counts in the presidential election -- an impossibility.

    Those who are in power have more than a century of experience manipulating public opinion and playing our egos like a symphony.

    Capitalism is only as good as those who are at the helm. If you have only selfish psychopaths running our corporations, then it doesn't look good for freedom at all. I love the idea of having the freedom to build my own company and to make it prosper, but every tool we have at our disposal can be perverted by Ego.

    So, the solution is not democracy, communism or capitalism, but love -- an end to self-concern. Everything else is Ego and leads to suffering. This is not an easy thing to grasp. For those who cling only to reason, they will find many reasons to make it not work. Ego is clever that way.

    Self-concern leads to a form of insanity that cannot do what's right, but only what's right for the self. This causes suffering for others. Like 9/11 when the Rockefellers, the Neocons and others killed 3,000+ Americans for their own personal gain (power and money).

    Like one female world leader told her doctor, the time for the great culling is about to begin. All the "useless eaters" will be eliminated so that they will no longer be consuming "our resources." Perhaps oligarchy has been the default for as long as humans have been around. Only the most selfish (egocentric) have hungered for power enough to kill for it