The trouble with 'freedom'

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"We like to tell ourselves an uplifting story in which freedom expands whenever tyranny is overthrown" writes John Gray. "We believe that...when a dictator is toppled the result is not only a more accountable type of government but also greater liberty throughout society".

But Gray believes otherwise. Using the nineteenth century liberal John Stuart Mill and his god-son Bertrand Russell, he advances his argument that liberty is one thing, democracy another.

"The reality" he says "is that when a tyrant is toppled we can't know what will come next".

Adele Armstrong.

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10 minutes

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Sun 26 Aug 2012 08:50

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