I don't think a belief in freedom is the same as a belief in democracy
. Democracy can essentially be mob rule
. By its very nature, it means the actions of a minority may be constrained by the desires of the majority. This can mean freedom and privilege for one class, and slavery
and oppression to the other. If one institutes democracy among a people with no traditions of freedom, and mistrust of others in their midst, disaster is an almost certain result.
The danger, it's true, is in the electorate, but complacency is not the only concern. It really isn't even the primary one in my book. It's respect for the rights of others. If the electorate maintains that, democracy can be a powerful force for freedom. When this respect wanes, terror and bloodshed are almost certain to follow.
See the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror for details. Indeed, what we see in Zimbabwe today with Robert Mugabe's confiscation of white farmers' farms is democracy. And even if you agree with this policy due to historical injustice, remember that the tides can turn against those who navigate them as easily as they can aid them. There is great peril in implementing the politics of popular opinion.