Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Conservative View of Democracy or Why Democracy is not a Religion

The Bush Adminstration's approach to democracy is that it is a force for good in the world. If democracy is spread the amazing goodness of humanity will be unleashed and if not a utopia at least a "good" world will ensue.

This is a liberal view of democracy. By liberal I not meaning the democratic party. Here I mean philosophic liberalism. With this view in mind President Reagan was a liberal.

A conservative view of democracy is different. The conservative embraces democracy as a way to stifle the encroaching nature of human government. Government can only exist when power and authority are in place. But too much authority leads to tyranny. Democracies/Republics are about dividing power to keep us safe from tyranny.

Now, this is a good thing. I wish all governments were like this. But to give democracy the kind of messianic impetus that the Bush Adminstration gives it is at best wrongheaded and worst the gateway to an even worse tyranny.

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