Randall G. Holcombe on Liberty in Peril


Being against democracy does not make you an elitist.

Far from it.

It might mean that, like Aristotle, you are against demagoguery, or like Randall Holcombe, you are for liberty – even when the majority opposes it.

Today, most Americans think of “democracy” as the principle underlying government. In 1776, most Americans would have said “liberty.” Democracy was an after-thought, meant to keep elite powers at bay.

Hans Herman-Hoppe has called democracy "the God that failed." In his recently revised book Liberty in Peril, Independent Institute research fellow Randall Holcombe elaborates on the history of how the false idol of democracy has undermined freedom in America – and it's not pretty.

We must be reminded that democracy is not always in harmony with liberty.

Our Founders worried that the Constitution might lead to too much democracy, and judging by the results, it's hard to argue they were wrong.

Holcombe provides the long view in his new book.

The transformation of the U.S. from a republic, founded on libertarian principles, to a system of majority rule threatening our liberties didn’t happen overnight.

Listen now to hear the full history from a leading scholar of liberty.

Subscribe to get weekly emails with memes, upcoming shows, and transcripts of past shows.