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posted on 01 December 2015

Democracy and Freedom

Written by

Americans revere freedom. Anything labelled, even falsely, as freedom is always considered good. For example, for many years, any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage was a losing cause until it was portrayed as an issue of freedom, which finally won it approval by the Supreme Court (Same-Sex Marriage)! Another example: depending on the perspective of the viewer, a Syrian freedom fighter may be considered good while a Syrian terrorist is bad, despite the fact that they may literally be the same person!

Americans also revere democracy, despite the fact that democracy has been a proven failure throughout human history without a single example of lasting success. But democracy proponents often link it with freedom, thus defusing any challenge from democracy doubters.

The truth of the matter is that democracy and freedom are two entirely separated ideologies, and must therefore not be used synonymously!

1. Democracy

According to Wikipedia - democracy,

Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.

2. Freedom

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary,

Freedom, liberty, license mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. Freedom has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated <freedom of the press>. Liberty suggests release from former restraint or compulsion liberty>. License implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom license>.

3. Individual freedom vs. rule of law

Every living thing (e.g. a human being, bird, or even plant) yearns for freedom! We, the human race, used to wander the earth without any constraint - We had total freedom! Then we settled down and formed communities, often with some form of law, righteous or not. Since then, individual freedom and the rule of law have been diametrically contradictory! Individual freedom achieves its maximal degree without law, while the rule of law achieves its maximal effect without individual freedom!

In short, everything is relative, including freedom!

4. Freedoms

Freedom comes in multiple forms, such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But what is ultimately the most important freedom for mankind? How about the freedom to live, including freedom from starvation and poverty? Here is an excerpt from 11 Facts About Global Poverty:

Nearly 1/2 of the world's population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

In short, when you are dead poor and hungry, freedom of speech is perhaps not a high priority ...

5. Freedom from poverty and democracy

The most important question then is this: is democracy the best form of government to address mankind's most enduring issue - poverty?

The answer is no! Three prominent points:

  1. It is capitalism, not democracy, that has created unprecedented wealth in the West over the past century! For more, read: Democracy Prevailed over Communism, Really?
  2. China's system (i.e. state capitalism) has proven to be the best in dealing with poverty - China has lifted some 600 million people out of poverty over the past three decades!
  3. Communism was a total disaster in the 20th century. Now, democracy has obviously replaced communism to be the worst disaster of the 21st century, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and creating millions of refugees in the Middle East.

6. Freedom and democracy in America

America is the exception, not the rule! America was built on a piece of commandeered land, on which some Europeans found a second chance to start over with a clean slate. It was a luxury no other contemporary groups had, except perhaps for the Europeans who migrated to South America at about the same time a few hundred years ago.

America was prosperous throughout most of the 20th century because of its superb capitalism and its overwhelming abundance in natural resources, despite democracy. America has been in a steep decline in the 21st century because of democracy. Here is the latest news from IMF:

To truly understand its implication for America, read: Money and America.

In short, not only is democracy failing in America, the American model is not exportable (and it's even too late for South America)!

7. Freedom and democracy in the world

People yearn for freedom, with economic freedom being the most important to dispel hunger!

Democracy is a good ideological concept. Democracy is also a good practice in many aspects of daily life. But democracy as a form of government must not be accepted blindly, if not utterly rejected! Specifically,

  1. Democracy without capitalism first has failed everywhere, especially in the Middle East over the past decade. For more, read: Arab Spring, Four Years Later.
  2. State capitalism has proven to be the best system for China, ever! It will continue to help China ascend to the top of the world. For more, read: America: What if China is Japan Times 10?
  3. State capitalism will eventually prevail over democracy, in my opinion! For more, read: Democracy: to be or not to be?

Below is another perspective to illustrate the significance of China’s RMB as a reserve currency of the world.

8. Closing

Stop mixing democracy and freedom - they are two different things - Different ideologies and different outcomes!

China must expand personal freedom beyond economic freedom, with freedom of speech being the most important.

America, reform our political system as I have suggested (Solution for America (Version 3)), or become an also-ran, second to China!

Should Math be taught in schools? Lets ask the Miss USA pageant contestants. ~ Chappel

Posted by 104.7 Birmingham's WZZK on Friday, January 9, 2015

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