Force and Freedom insists that, ‘Freedom, understood as independence of another person's choice, is [all] that matters’. In this paper I suggest that this premise leads Ripstein to an instrumentalization of democracy that neglects a properly public and collective notion of freedom. The paper first criticizes Ripstein's key argument against any extension of public purposes beyond the upholding of persons’ ‘independence of others’ choice’. More constructively, the paper then suggests that a space of public freedom is opened up when people deliberate in order to form and pursue democratic purposes. Citizens may act together to promote ends that they think are worthwhile, without dominating one another or restricting individual freedom.