Tyranny of the Majority

Length: 6 Pages 1570 Words

Tyranny of the Majority In his book, On Liberty, John Stewart Mill goes to great lengths to demonstrate how unjustly the majority rules in a democratic society. He starts off by explaining the intentions of liberty, and what went wrong. He then reasons that not only laws, but also public opinion can negatively affect the system. Furthermore, Mill then points out why humanity is hurt by the silencing of opinions. Finally he offers the idea that majority rule can lead to stagnation. Advancing Mill's argument, Niccolo Machiavelli's book, The Prince, illustrates views on human nature that help to demonstrate why a majority ruled system will become tyrant and fail. Mill and Machiavelli’s literature show particular problems of injustice that the majority holds, leading to a "tyranny of the majority.” An operational definition for what Mill meant by "tyranny of the majority" is now needed. According to Mill, democracies enable the majority to stomp out the voices of the minority groups, refusing to think about the thoughts and ideas of anyone who does not comply. This form of tyranny gives the majority the right to obstruct justice. Mill starts off his essay by stating the intentions of liberty. “By liberty, was mea Continue...

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If I spread my message to twenty friends that had relatively neutral beliefs, odds are I could get a majority to agree with me. This was done so the Bush administration could save face and not stay in a war that was destined to lose public support, as Vietnam did decades earlier. Unfortunately the United States failed to remove Hussein from power. This situation is extremely threatening when a majority acts in a manner inconsistent with what its members believe. However, a few hundred years ago, anyone who thought the world was round was thought of as crazy. Confidence in an issue does not make it just; people are hurt by silencing ideas. There is great truth in this statement of how public opinion can be a very negative entity. Machiavelli's ideas about how humans behave can add to the claim that majority rule leads to tyranny. The Jordan supporters would make their argument seem "more true if they listened to Bird's reasoning and were able to successfully defend Jordan. Public opinion stayed high, but was society dealt with in a just manner Another unjust characteristic of majority rule is the silencing of minority opinion. America completed its primary mission to liberate Iran and pulled out of the Gulf in a timely fashion. One of the major themes in Machiavelli's The Prince is that people are generally self interested. Unfortunately, there was no fear of the people tyrannizing themselves. They point out that a majority do not always act in a manner that would best suit all of society's members.


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