There is no great beast called "The Majority" who oppresses the small people. No, democracy is actually made up of individuals and the decisions carried out through it are done by individuals.
Those individuals have all cooperated to enact a single candidate's power, unanimously. They all had the same act, which zeroes out and renders calling them "the majority" useful shorthand that has no impact on the conclusion. Our moral argument would be the same under "Bob oppressed Jane, and Bill oppressed Jane, etc" as "The majority oppressed Jane." It would just be a few hundred million words longer.
No such thing can be said of "Society," which possesses no such unanimous act to analyze.
Indeed, in democratic theory, the purpose is not to subject the will of a minority or of individuals but, rather, to bring about political equality between individuals.
Politics consists of one party subjugating the will of another. To declare that each individual will shall constitute an equal unit for the purpose of deciding which will shall subjugate which will is to declare that such a decision must be made. The only question is whether the people subjugated are to be people who each, severally, as individuals, tried to subjugate someone else's will first (a libertarian politics), or not. Democracy is not of course strictly determinate of this-- a democracy can be libertarian or not.
When we take it by this standard, we see that democracy is there not to oppress individuals but to free them
by making sure they all have the same say in the law of the land.
Equal say has nothing inherently to do with freedom.
But if we are assuming government, then democracy is surely the most individualistic form of government there is. For there are two ways a government can be: run by everyone equally or run by some over, irrelevant to the will of others.
Again, does not follow.
And it is impossible for it to be run by everyone, because wills conflict. It can be run by a majority or a minority. For the purposes of freedom, it does not matter which, either the will to oppress is oppressed or other wills are.
simply seeing every individual as they are, we recognize that everyone has the same say
They don't "have the same say--" They don't say the same thing, and only one say can win.
If everyone said the same thing, there is no politics going on.
:: At 2/4/2013 9:03:34 PM, charleslb wrote:
: : You view all humans as incapable of consent. I wouldn't say that it is groundless to call that infantilizing and dehumanizing.
: I would say that it's entirely groundless.