Ron Paul: Democracy ≠ Freedom

by Ron Paul

As we enter the fall political season, we will hear a great deal of rhetoric from both major political parties and their many candidates for office. It’s important for us to remember, however, that words can be made meaningless by misuse or overuse. And when we as citizens allow politicians to obscure the truth by distorting words, we diminish ourselves and our nation.

For example, we’ve all heard politicians use the words “democracy” and “freedom” countless times. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different. They have become what George Orwell termed “meaningless words”. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused for so l?ong that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, such words were “often used in a consciously dishonest way.”

Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As just one example, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom. Thus we are conditioned to believe that democracy is always and everywhere benevolent.

The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with freedom. While our Constitution certainly features certain democratic mechanisms, it also features inherently undemocratic mechanisms like the First Amendment and the Electoral College. American is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Yet we’ve been bombarded with the meaningless word “democracy” for so long that few Americans understand the difference.

If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom or liberty–regardless of the issue being discussed– ask yourself whether he is advocating more government force or less.

The words “liberal” and “conservative” have also been abused. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government. Liberalism has been redefined to mean liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth.

“Conservatism,” meanwhile, once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government. But in recent decades conservatism has been redefined as support for big-government grandiosity via military adventurism, corporatism, and inflationary monetary policy. The modern political right has redefined conservatism into support for an all-powerful central state, provided that the state furthers supposedly conservative goals.

Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. Our task, therefore, is to reclaim our language and reclaim our liberties. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us.


  • I will never support any party candidate.

  • You can Democracy all you wish, just as long as you are not voting through a centralized authority and it doesn’t effect my life.

  • Direct democracy for the People. Representative democracy failed!

  • Yes. Thanks! I got that. So, not to overstate the obvious, the point of my post is to bring attention to the fact that… In a democracy, the result of such a 2 to 1 vote would effectively result in the demise of the sheep; ending there, with no means of legal protection or appeal. While, theoretically, in a republic, governed by the Rule of Law not the Rule of the Mob, the Sheep in this scenario would have recourse to adequate lawful protection, irrespective of the vote, which democracy lacks.

  • No, you misunderstand my statement. The analogy of the 2 wolves/sheep is fine, I’m saying summarizing that analogy with just the text you used, is not correctly implying the point of the analogy. If there was 2 wolves and a sheep to begin with, in a democracy (and they didn’t eat the sheep yet), and they changed to a republic, it’s still 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

  • How much more evidence does a person need to see that US Corp. sold out already?

  • On the contrary, in a republic, the Rule of Law determines the outcome of any situation; while in a democracy it is the Rule of the Majority that holds sway. Thus, only in a republic is a minority, and by extension, the individual truly protected (by law).

  • He also signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, thus creating the federal reserve system everybody is so fond of these days.

  • Rand Paul 2016 — 2024!!!
    Ron Paul Secretary of Defense + State
    Ron Paul FED Chairman
    Ron Paul GOD!
    Julie Borowski Press Secretary
    Max Keiser Chief Economic Advisor
    Judge Napolitano Attorney General
    Gary Johnson Administrator of Drug Enforcement
    Jennifer Lawrence Vice President

  • Who gives a fuck about democracy when the majority of the people are morons?

  • lol…although I personally get your point, I don’t really believe that’s a good way to summarize what you’re trying to say, since a Republic [essentially] would be the same, ‘2 wolves and a sheep’ ‘voting on what’s for dinner’, the outcome is what matters in the analogy, not the characters. 😛

  • It amazing how many obama supporters are on the Ron Paul sites and channels that are trying to talk people to write-in a vote for Ron Paul so that obama might win!

  • Your an obama supporter, just own it!

  • Justin Amash, anyone?

  • Scott P Robison

    Would you prefer Obama over Romney? Get off your high horse and help get rid of Obama. Fully support Romney. Get your supporters in line. You are not helping to reestablish this country as a world leader. Under obama we are impotent.

    • French Canadian


      I would much prefer Obama. He will go wild in his second term and EVERYBODY will wake up even the OBOTS. With Romney, everybody will go back to sleep. The full destruction will happen and not one conservative or republican will see it coming.

      Get real Scott.

  • Thank You Dr Paul .We will carry on .

  • They may take our delegates, but they can never take our freedom!

  • All I can say is there is no greater man than Ron Paul. Not that I needed to tell anyone here, but I had to say it.

  • you can credit edward bernaise for that one, and many others just as effective and just as destructive to our liberties.

  • I agree with robm425 – never believe any GOP or Democrat or Green Party candidate, and I might add Libertarian Party as well – probably they are also fake.

    Ron Paul said all the right things but he let us down in 2008 and now, again, in 2012 and tipped his hat to the cheif traiter: his son, Rand Paul, who endorsed Romney way before his father’s run was over. Shame, shame, shame – and shame again. I’m turning communist, or socialist now. Screw you all.