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Feb 24, 2003

From Liberty to Democracy: The Transformation of American Government

Featuring the author, Randall G. Holcombe; with comments by Dennis Coyle, Catholic University of America; and Joseph Romance, Drew University. Moderated by John Samples, Cato Institute.

From Liberty to Democracy traces the evolution of American government and its fundamental principles. At the nation’s founding, the principle underlying American government was liberty, and the nation’s new government was designed to protect the rights of individuals. By the end of the 20th century, American government had been transformed, and public policy was designed to further the will of the majority. According to economist Randall Holcombe, this change has produced a government that is larger and broader in scope than intended by the Founders. What is the fate of liberty in a political world dominated by majority rule?