Day 5 Week 8 – Freedom Versus Democracy


Marathon training

38 min (4 mi), windy & 60 degree

Freedom Versus Democracy

What’s the difference between freedom and democracy? I often think of them as hand-in-hand twins. But the protests in Hong Kong has made me realize that is not the case.

First. Freedom and democracy are different, according to Professor John T. Wenders.  The demarcation lies in affairs in the public sector versus in the private sector, or “democracy means you get to vote in the public sector; freedom means you get to determine the terms of your interactions with others in the private sector.”

Second.  And more importantly, “the role of the constitution is to protect freedom from democracy and the individual from the majority.”  In other words, individual freedoms are protected from being voted out by the political process.

Third.  Hong Kongers have freedoms such as free to assemble, speak, and own property under its special autonomous status with China.  But they don’t have democracy when it comes to self government.  Hong Kong’s handpicked chief executive is pro-Beijing and chosen by just 6% of eligible voters. 

Last but not least.  I am grateful that United States is a Republic with liberty and justice for all.  So we don’t have to choose between freedom or democracy.

What is your understanding of  the Republic?

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