Amazon.com Widgets

Is democracy, the will of the majority imposing their will on the minority, a form of tyranny?

Asked by: Myenglin
  • It definitely is

    This is the reason why the United States is not a perfect democracy. In a perfect democracy the will of the majority is allowed to overrule the will of the minority leading to unrestrained power for the larger group. For example, during the Plessy v. Ferguson case, the vast majority of Americans supported segregation in public spaces. However, the Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional, as most people now recognize. It is tyranny when the majority is allowed to vote on the rights of the minority.

  • Whenever there is invented unnecessary conflicts for the government to resolve there is tyranny

    Government's purpose is to resolve conflicts.
    There are a great number of times democracy has been used to resolve non-conflicts.
    For example democracies put in place laws mandating that places be segregated. This conflict only existed in people's opinions and not in any essential sense. People felt afraid of other races. The government should only be for resolving essential conflicts. For instance no matter how I feel about it if someone murders me I will be dead and if someone rapes me I could've even enjoyed it and it's still wrong because the person used physical force against me. It is wrong because that proves the person is a risk to society as a whole a risk of exerting that wrong over others.
    If a desired policy is based on being disgusted or insulted but then there are no real conflicts left, that is there had been no tangible, material conflicts then the government shouldn't go out of its way to create them. A clear example is governments that have sodomy laws or blaspheme laws.
    I'm not advocating for "libertarianism". A person who doesn't have any food to eat (or access to healthcare, water,...) is in conflict with potential sources of food (or...). Naturally they will do anything they can to get it whether we think that's right or not politics is about reality not about the world you wish existed. So a responsible political system makes sure they can get it in an orderly way. So some welfare and social services are justified. But laws based on cultural prejudice and disinformation are tyrannical.

  • It is the most fair form of Tyranny.

    Until each person can live in a world without any conflict with another then we will always need government. And all political theories involve a form of tyranny. Democracy happens to be the most fair form of tyranny humans have invented. Not all Tyranny is bad, and a representative democracy helps eliminate the tyrannical rule of a mob majority.

  • 51% subjugates the 49%

    I would say, that when the majority vote in law, or vote in an elected official to make law, the minority is forced to obey civic law by force. They have no choice, or recourse, but to to obey the law that the majority has subjected upon them. When I speak of civic law, I speak of laws that are enacted that have no victim or the propose that a future victim may or may not arise from a certain action they deem unjust to the majority. True democracy, or representative democracy, forces those, that do not agree, into a form of master and slave relationship. True liberty is the basic human right to live happy and be free of intrusion, unless such freedom infringes on another person individual basic rights to life. Civic law, imposes an unjust restriction on a free mans right to live free and therefore, democracy is a tyrannical injustice to the 49%.

  • Well, yes or no...

    The answer to this question depends on how you personally define tyranny. Dictionary.Com, an accepted definition among most people, defines it as
    "arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority, absolutism, dictatorship." So yes, by technicality, any imposition by a certain group upon another group could be considered tyranny, since an imposition of one's will could reasonably be considered an abuse of authority.

    However, to give this concept some real world significance rather than simply being a definition, we must take our analysis further. If we regard it as a given that a population that is 100% satisfied and in agreement is impossible (a very likely assumption based on history and modern society), then we reach the conclusion that tyranny is unavoidable. This would be the case, since some individual will always have someone else's will imposed upon him, which is tyranny by our current definition. Hence, if tyranny is unavoidable, the more just form of tyranny is tyranny by the many rather than by the few, since more people are satisfied. Therefore, the answer to the question is yes, it is certainly a form of tyranny, but it's the best form of tyranny there is.

  • That is not Tyranny

    To begin with, tyranny is usually defined as oppressive rule by a singular ruler or ruling body. Democracy has the power spread out throughout the people, and therefore can not be tyranny by definition. A better question would be, is it fair that 51% can "have their way with" 49%? I contend that yes, it is fair. First of all, the 51% is not a stagnant body. Meaning that if 3 votes are passed due to 51% majority, most of the time, it will not be the same 51% contending. Someone who was on the wrong end of the 49% last time will almost certainly have their "yes" vote seen through one time or another. If by some odd reason, you are always the losing 49%, you should reevaluate yourself. If more people want something that not, it is only right to do what benefits the greatest number of people. It would be more backward to protect the will of the few over the will of the many.

  • No, or at least it shouldn't be.

    "Democracy", in my opinion, should not uphold majority rule (51% subjugating the other 49%) as an end but rather as a means. What can be decide upon by majority rule should be limited. For instance, 51% enslaving/killing the other 49% should not be permissible.

    Democracy, therefore, should entail protecting the 49% against the wishes of the 51%. Majority rule is, perhaps, the most oppressive form of tyranny, more so that than which can be inflicted by one individual.

    Posted by: Yin
  • Not at all

    Until you can name a better way of ruling then this is the most fair way of ruling, if you don't want anyone in charge and have anarchy fine but first ask Somalia how that worked for them. And I think the wording of the question can easily be taken out of context mainly in a racial way is the majority (whites) imposing their will on minorities (Black, Hispanics, Asians, etc.) a form of tyranny it is if the whites are in total control and don't bother to care about the others. This was what happened during slavery and up to the civil rights movement and yes that could be considered tyrannical. The best and purest form of democracy would be almost everyone represented and then taking the majority of their views into law. It's not tyranny and when it was invented it was a new form of government and if someone can invent a better way so be it. Also Democracy being tyrannical and the USA being tyrannical are two different things. For one example 90% of the citizen wanted stronger and universal background checks for guns but that didn't get passed. We are being ever-more run by large corporations, special interest groups, and political donations. Both candidates spent roughly a billion dollars each with a B so if you don't have money or wealthy supporters how can you win an election?

  • No, democracy is not a form of tyranny.

    The majority will never be able to agree to impose their will on the minority in this way. If this way possible slavery would still exist in the U.S.A. This is because the majority would make all the minorites do whatever the heck they wanted. This is not true as their are more programs for minorities than the majorities.


Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
JustCheNo says2013-06-28T00:19:53.423
Tyranny is exactly the opposite of your description. It's when the will of the MAJORITY is IGNORED by BARACK OBAMA and HIS WILL is shoved down the throat of the American people, usually by Executive Order (aka dictatorship)
Anonymous says2013-06-28T21:36:02.893
People differ, it is a fact of reality. It is not right to impose the will of the majority if that particular will is, as presently is obvious, not a smart one. Neither am I saying the minority is smart, as a minority can be of even dumber people.
Every individual must be regarded on their individual level. Democracy ignores that completely. It doesn't care about individuality at all, instead it simply looks at one particular view and forces it onto everyone, and that is idiotic.
The government's, any government's, job is to care for its people, to make sure the people are well, and that is not done by ignoring some and not others.
A government should basically be neutral, one that looks at everything and regards everything as objectively as possible. This is not the case in present time, unfortunately. No wonder why, present governments are, if you look at the structure and their actions, nothing more than simple corporations who care only for money (not all of course, but most definitely). Also, a government should above everything, even individual needs themselves, have in its foundation, and unalterable, the "bigger picture" - survival and what is needed for it. But that does not mean everything should and would be strict and formal, not at all.
And moreover, democracy is an old system. Trying to keep that system alive is degrading to our mental capacity as we are capable, now, of a lot more and better than that fruit of rather primitive thinking.
Democracy can never work, it never has. The reason for that is individuality - we are all different. That which fits one person does not fit everyone, and never will. Trying to so persistently ignore this fact is moronic. "Democracy" has no place among humanity, or anywhere for that matter, other than in texts of flawed concepts.