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 dont think so bloke, I have Black American friends, and I actually asked them about Ron Paul, because I thought he was an awesome candidate. I wanted to see what they thought. They were the ones who pointed out his newsletter, which after reading left me flabbergasted. I think the Black community is the last community that will support him, I think they would support Romney before him.

  • any politician who references Orwell is worth listening to.

    I feel mindless just stating something so absurd and broad.

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    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:55

  • Harry

    Really? You people are NUTS, if Obama gets in Everything you claim to stand for ie. liberty, freedom and all that you hold dear will be destroyed. Atleast with Mitt youll get you say ans a chance to improve things. I cant believe that you all and Mr Paul wont support the ticket. Its on your heads if this country goes the way of Greece on our watch, if obama beats Mitt by the margine of votes you people would have cast.

    Unreal folks to be sure. Verry dissapointed in the folks i share MANY views with.

  • Ron Paul is respected by the black community. He is a libertarian, and his medical career of helping blacks, even for free sometimes; just goes to show that your accusations are meaningless… Or do you actually not know what racist means?

  • I wish Ron Paul would recognize that we are a union of republics. Not a single republic. Still, great words from the good doctor.

  • Ron Paul only proves that every half century or so, a racist xenophobe can come along and if he has a few good ideas, then sheeple will line up to follow him.

  • Also, the only “qualifications” that exist for president are the age requirement (which Ron Paul clearly meets) and the natural born citizen requirement (also met). Other than that, all he needs is the support of a majority of the voters. Party Support is NOT a legal requirement to hold office. Yes, the electoral college could still vote against the people’s votes but that doesn’t usually go unnoticed.

  • How could it be invalid? The main thing that is supposed to separate our political election process is the freedom to vote as we choose. Why participate in a system where your voice is nullified by party lines? I’d much rather write-in my choice’s name than cast a vote for either man who will not respect the Office of President or The Constitution. That would defeat the purpose of participating. In MO, where I live, you can still write-in Ron Paul and it MUST be counted towards that nominee.

  • For those who don’t know, Romney got the Republican nomination today.

  • Someone please tell us how it all works when if we were to write his name in?? There’s not enough info about this and we all really need to know. Would our votes for him be counted? Or will it be invalid because he didn’t meet the qualifications criteria? Will the votes be counted just as good as the other names on the ballot?

  • I was just told that writing his name in wouldn’t count and will be invalid.

  • i will write Ron Paul in–i just can’t support anyone else. Pleae people find if he should be registered as write-in candidate in some states (not in mine–PA)

    also-shouldn we PROTEST that RNC changed the rule (5 to 8) during election? Write to RNC MEMBERS? names are on the Internet! i know we are all tired of their continuous dirty tricks but let’s do not give up!

  • He makes the complicated simple.

  • Write him in.

  • i am writing his name on my ballot this nov. no matter what.

  • We are actually not a Democratic-Republic I believe that term wasn’t around till the 1930’s. We are a Constitutional Republic. The difference between a Constitutional Republic and Democracy is under a Con-Republic the government has limited power which is granted to them by the Constitution. They aren’t suppose to break this limits. Under Democracy the Majority always rules so the Individual has no freedoms. Youtube Democracy vs Republic to learn more.

  • Oli

    Ron Paul is really one of a few wise, intelligent and honest US politicians and he would be first good US president in USA from decades or even centuries.
    What a problem was with nomination of this man?
    These both other morons especially this corrupt bastard Romney will ruin this USA and the world.
    This fu..d Romney what values does he represent? Cash for his own pockets and cash for intenational, criminal lobbists and wars. It was fu..kman of that kind, who has lead this your usa almost to fall- bushie and it seems that it is not enough.
    If you have no respect for your country, have at least this small respect for the rest of the world. Will it be funny? I think not.

  • Ron Paul is a sorry ass Traitor and a Coward. We hate Ron Paul. Ron Paul supports Terrorism against the USA. Mitt Romney is a true American Hero. Mitt is very wealthy and a Mormon so he has earned your allegiance and obedience. Stop being a damn PaulTard. Vote for Honest Mitt Romney 2012.

  • what is the difference between a democratic republic which is what the US is supposed to be and a democracy? Sounds like hair splitting.