The burden of leadership

Miguel writes:

A point that I think people have been missing is that the major source of the problems around the globe have to do with quality of life, freedom comes in a distant second place. ... There is a whole debate about what "freedom" means, and it probably means different things to different people. Every once in a while I ran into people who miss the days of living under a dictatorship: from the Franquistas in Spain who think the country was better off with dictator Franco, to chileans that believe that dictador Pinochet was the best thing to happen to Chile since sliced bread. These people were enjoying their lives and hence had no problem with the imperfect states of government they had.

He can add present day Singaporeans to that list. ;-)

He makes an interesting point, though. For most people, concepts of liberty and freedom hold little meaning and they would be content if they just got good food and some decent entertainment. That’s quality of life for them.

Then there are those who value freedom and know what it is all about. They argue that such ideas are worth fighting for - worth fighting for on behalf of everyone; even those who don’t see the value of them.

Herein lies the paradox. If you ignore what the majority thinks and persist with your fight for what you believe is the right thing to do, then aren’t you going against one of the fundamental principles of a democracy - that of representation of the people’s wishes? Aren’t you destroying one of the very ideas that you are trying to spread?