Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 3, No. 2


Liberalism as Democracy: Authority over Freedom

 William R. McKercher

Abstract: This article is an attempt to look at the libertarian commitment to freedom, initially within a conceptual context, but more broadly in relation to liberal democracy. But first it is fundamental to clarify and distinguish between those who call themselves libertarians. One group attaches freedom to individualism; the other attaches freedom to equal­ity. The former group is very much attached to the liberal sentiments of John Stuart Mill, the latter to anarcho-socialists of the mid-nineteenth century. In examining the views of J S Mill, especially in regards to freedom, equality, and democracy, I intend to show that Mill is the main propagator of intellectual elitism, bourgeois values, and the cult of modern-day individualism. In short, he is a good liberal, whose values have become the most invidious part of what most people now accept as democracy.