The Tyranny of the Majority

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The Tyranny of the Majority is explained as a cruel and unfair treatment by leaders with absolute power over civilians. De Tocqueville, Author of Democracy of America states that the main point of democracy was the public having a sort of dedication to having the equality among the citizens in the U.S. The United States offers several examples of equality within the people, and how they express their action in society. By explaining the main power structures between the people within the community versus the government that rules over them, it will bring out an better understand and confirming that two authors of different beliefs can still correlate the same conclusion.

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The people of the new land believed that they could fight against Tyranny, but they fought to increase the path to “individualism”, and have more patriotism than those who govern upon the rights of the people.

The advantages of the Democratic Government entitles the leader to use powerful beliefs to bring a person back to their faction. During this time, These beliefs tend to deepen their commitment to a power as a sovereign or even an “absolute” government. The commitment of the possibility of being an “absolute” master, they can oversee the execution of having “equal control over those who govern and over those who are governed.” (Tocqueville 243)

“The omnipotence of the majority favors the legal despotism of the legislator, it favors the arbitrariness of the magistrate as well.” (Tocqueville 242) He points out how unpredictable the leaders can be with their power, and how they intend to use it upon the civilians. The basis of this tale is that Tocqueville explained the obvious of what our own leaders had to do to with that control in order to influence the public life. “You shall think as I do or you shall die; he says; You are free not to think as I do; your life, your goods, everything remains to you, but from this day on, you are a stranger among us.” (Tocqueville 244) The citizens think they might have to follow the beliefs of the leader, but they don’t, and it’s considered a positive for many more options in our well being.

We are definitely competent enough in taking care of ourselves under the political law without causing distress upon the community. If we live within the current society such as the people living in the new world, then the civilians with freedom, will be treated with the proper respect. But there are always people that get mistreated from outside the current citizenship, and that leads them to live under the tyrannical rule such as the Native Americans that already resided upon the New World, an eventually was driven out. Then, as a result, they will live with less freedom, rights, and being frightened of the government that rules unless they would join their community.

Tocqueville states that the Majority of Tyranny all depends on how the public influences the power of the government faction, and how they are able to respond back upon their behavior. It doesn’t matter how powerful the leaders are, no man should be mistreated on how different they are from another community. No leader with power of omnipotence behavior should object an individual. That’s how the possibilities of the party will perish, there will be an increase in individualism, and rebel against the beliefs they have to do more on their own.

In comparison to Tocqueville, Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons of the Twentieth Century pointed out that in his lessons of using historical text in modern times, he believes that by taking interest in his excerpts will be able to withstand the enforcement of tyranny in the Americas. In his book, he talks about common trends that happen in recent political events in America and how the public may not see that our own leaders may fall to that habit of the abusive power.

Although, he does connect with the same issue with Tocqueville of people rising with Individualism against the government, there was one quote that stuck into the minds of his readers “Do not obey in advance and Defend institutions” (Christian Century 21) He pointed this out specifically because if anybody did obey the rules of their leaders, that’s what gave them the power they needed to rule against the civilians. Institutions weren’t able to protect themselves solely due to the fact they would need the support of the people, and not many would do so since they would worry about themselves. But Snyder also points out a positive point that’s crucially important to fight back.

“Establish a private life, stand out, listen for dangerous words, contribute to good causes.” One lesson, “Remember professional ethics,” (Christian Century 21) I think that by doing this obedience, this could be considered as a merit over the domestic obedience of following the (belief) over what we should by our leaders. This is something that Tocqueville specifically didn’t say in his point of view, but it’s something the people of the new world could have done if they had a more professional work ethic created back then.

Snyder confirms the actions of the new world folk by “building a resistance movement that asks rude questions, challenges normal politics, does not delay out of politeness or caution, and creates new organizations demanding equality and democratic accountability.” (Christian Century 25) By this act, this proves the claims that Tocqueville revealed in his own personal work by epressing that the people can go forward and rise against the tyranny by express their thoughts and words.

Snyder’s explanation of “Believe in truth,” “Be a patriot,” and “Be as courageous as you can be.” (Christian Century 21) also approves of Tocqueville’s point of being a patriot against the by laws that can be enforce by a democratic leader, and how they can express awareness to other civilians knowing they can have their own person beliefs.

The Impact that both authors show upon their understanding is that the people’s belief are important for this time period back when the societal structure was still being created. No matter the situation, people should still get the chance to be themselves under political law, even getting a proper structure of laws that we must follow as long as we are able to roam free and include everyone, that’s what some intend to prove.

With the increase of people starting to do things on their own, we have faith that the leaders that abuse the power will perish, and include a new political person that will at least make a contribution into the well-being of future generations I believe that we still have that today even in modern times, and it’s still a work in progress, but we have more “freedom” now than we did hundreds of years ago.

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The Tyranny of the Majority. (2020, Jan 08). Retrieved from