Sunday, June 04, 2006

Majority rule? Never!

Thanks to the thin rhetorical veil surrounding the inherent totalitarianism of the policies of presidents like Wilson and W Bush, many Americans believe that this country is a democracy. That isn't true, and that's by design - this country is a republic, so that the government doesn't blindly follow the will of the people - the Founders were familiar with the story of Athens, which lost the Peloponnesian War because it blindly followed the will of the people.

It's a dangerous misconception to say that the government (you call it a democracy, though it's really a republic) should always do what the majority of the people want. The majority of Germans in the 1930s approved of the killing of Jews (even before Hitler anti-Semitism was rampant), but that didn't make it right. The majority of Americans approved of invading Iraq on specious evidence and even shakier moral grounds, and that didn't make it right. The government should not always do what the majority of people want, and that is why we have a republic instead of a democracy.


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