Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 265

Themes of The Future of Freedom include the difference between liberty and democracy, whether democracy is being perverted to allow for the rule of illegitimate governments, and how democratization affected the religious landscape in America.

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Fahreed Zakaria explains that liberty and democracy are two different things even though they're often conflated. Democracy is simply the system of having elections where people vote for a candidate to represent them. Liberty is living according to a set of principles that say that all people should have basic freedoms. Some of these rights are outlined in the Constitution. For example, the Constitution states that people shouldn't be subject to unlawful search and seizure.

Zakaria explains that governments that aren't truly democracies are able to thrive under the illusion of being a democracy. One example he gives is in Russia, where elections are held, but the result is known before anyone ever goes to the polls. Many countries operate as democracies that aren't actually democracies in spirit. Zakaria refers to these as illiberal democracies. The fact that they elect their leader doesn't mean that they operate like a true democracy. Many countries operate under the guise of being democracies but don't actually give their citizens rights and liberties.

One side effect of increasing democracy in America is the rise of populist churches that have replaced less democratic churches. People like having the freedom to elect their representatives, and they want organizations that are also affected by their beliefs and desires. Churches also wield political power by choosing issues that transcend denominations and appeal to...

(The entire section contains 401 words.)

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