Liberty Lesson

Nov 08, 2011 (LBO) – This week, in what goes for ‘democracy’ in Sri Lanka, property rights of citizens are due to be violated by an expropriation law, as they have been repeatedly since independence from British rule. Constitutional ‘democratic’ majority rule is an imported Western European concept. But in far too many countries ‘democracy’, especially when combined with aggressive nationalism, had resulted in horrific injustices being inflicted on citizens followed by economic ruin.

The core of the problem was subjugating justice, liberty and individual freedom for what citizens and rulers mistakenly thought of as ‘democracy’.

Constitutional governments evolved to restrain the power of the state and sovereign and increase the freedom of citizens. But rather that restraining the state or sovereign and increasing freedoms of citizens, the opposite happened in many ‘democracies’.

Instead of freedom, democracy brought elected tyranny. Freedom disappeared.

The difference was seen between North and South America, and between Eastern and Western Europe from the late 19th century.

The following remarkable analysis about ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ was delivered in a speech by US economist Steve Hanke f