"From this view of the subject, it may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean a society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will in almost every case, be felt by the majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. "
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Source:
The Federalist X, 1787
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Reader comments about this quote:
In other words, those who support democracy as a form of government believe societyis for putting into boxes excluding those who run it, and are expected to do what they are told to do to conform regardless of individuality that does and will, by nature, refuse to conform.It is a lesson mankind refuses to accept. individuality will nor can ever be contained.
 -- Anon     
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    Some would even go as far as saying, if personal beliefs differ from the tyrannical and despotic majority or the mob, the dissenter is dictatorial like in nature.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Can one or a few be right and the majority be wrong?
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Ah! to live like the Honorable Native Ameridcan again would not that be great? The only thing more oppresive than the the ruile of the 51 is the rule of the 49. Without one or the other we would have no rule at all just chaos. I just experienced what no rule at all resulted in Lincoln County, New Mexico. That was the site of the famous Lincoln County wars between cattlemen, involving Billy The Kid etcetera. Law, cavalry etcetera straightened it all out and the 51 rule was institured.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Madison was right. Democracy is dysfuntional.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Leave it to Waffler to ignore the words of the very person who is responsible for drafting the Constitution. Democracy was abhorred by the Founders -- instead the form of government was determined to be republican -- a nation of laws that defended the rights of man. They attempted to balance the 3 primary governing powers revealed throughout history: monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical with the Executive, Senate, and House of Representatives. Understanding this balance of power should give those advocating 'democracy' an idea how to balance the vote with one's rights -- you cannot vote away a person's rights or property, that was the key. But after the Civil War, the Senate became populist (i.e. democratic) and the aristocratic branch entrenched themselves in the extra-constitutional branch of the central bank where it resides today. So all you socialists who think that your prosperous neighbor owes you a portion of his labors and property remember that socialism does not bring the rich down and the poor up -- it merely makes the aristocracy more powerful over you and everyone else. The protection of our rights via law is the only lawful purpose of government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, you keep referring back to the rule of the 51 is better than the rule of the 49. The founders resoundingly rejected such imbecilic rhetoric and intellectually bankrupt giberish. History has proven over and over and over again that a democracy (majority or minority rule) is at best tyranny and despotism. The founders rejected rule by the majority and/or by the minority. They implemented a representative republic which is a rule of law indigenous to each and every, any and all individuals. No majority or minority can create, alter, amend, or abolish the natural law that was the foundation of this constitutionally limited representative republic. Your continued off topic buffoonery, having nothing to do with the rule of law as established by the representative republic, demonstrates a most heinous dictator mentality that now infests this nation and is guilty of destroying a once great people's freedom and liberty. I realize that because you revel in your prideful ignorance, you refuse to acknowledge law as anything other than tyranny of the mob (the biggest, baddest, the most powerful without moral or right). Your arguments, may play well in government schools, but in the real world, they have nothing to do with the representative republic that was defined by the original Constitution.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The concept of majority rule pervades this society and its' institutions every where. From board rooms, club gatherings, to to city council meetings, tribal meetings, county meetings, state and federal legislative meetinga, and votes the idea of majority rule is rampant. To deny this fundamental truth is to be truly ignorant or just a base liar. Now that some organizations abide by a more strenous rule in some situaltions such as the super majority 60 percent rule in some mattes coming before the US Senate in effect gives a 41 percent minority the right to rule and dictate is unfortunate or at least a violation of the majority rule. But that org has apparently felt the need to maintain the status quo or to put breaks on change or to provide a legeislative go slow procedure. Still majority led government is the basic law of the land. To say other wise or to wish otherwise is anathema to the idea of American freedom.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    As a Canadian I can safely say that we are a nation designed for a majority rule. When this occurs, as too often is the case, true Democracy is annihilated and will not resurrected until the next election; but will only exist in the form of the casting of ballots. When the majority rules we become a fascist state, subjected to the whims of the holders of the majority. Only recently have the citizens of this country figured out that the best form of government under our current system is a Conservative government in a minority position. That means that they hold less than the sum of the balance of seats held by the other parties. The ideas and policies of the Conservatives (which are conservative only in name) are brought forward, but are modified to represent the needs of the people voiced through the representatives holding the balance of votes in the house. The holders of the balance MUST do this because their seats in Parliament are now truly depend on the people they represent. Rather than allowing pure corporate or socialist plunder we get workable (translate: real world not party politic) solutions. Which seems to be working out rather well. It's Rights of Recall that evolved into being; I can only assume because the system was so out of balance - it had to happen. It's not perfect and very tenuous - on the other hand isn't that the way the Republic was designed to exist?
     -- QAMan, Canada     
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    Waffler, thanks for proving all my points. Your extremely shallow diatribe on the vote does not address what they are to vote on. In the Constitutionally limited Representative Republic, no one can vote on anything that is not specifically authorized in the Constitution, contrary to natural law, or would in any way take away 1 right from an individual. They can not vote on amending the Constitution or anything else that promotes larceny, compelled compliance, insurance, license, victimless crimes, intra state affairs, etc., etc., etc. In a democracy where rule is claimed by an alien statist theocracy (it claiming inherent right aloof from 'We The People') for the majority, it can commit any atrocity in the name of compassion, tyranny hidden under the cloak of moral, or any other despotic function as suits their prejudice. QAMan, do you understand the difference between the rule of man, and the rule of law? Waffler does not. He thinks if he keeps parroting the same off topic rhetoric, some one may believe the 2 different subjects and forms of government are related.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Exactly Mike, those like Waffler refuse to admit rule of law means rule of the natural law that support the individual freedom of man. They like to think and teach the rule of law is any law man creates whether an individuals rights are considered or not.If the law passes it's as if God has spoken and the law was written in stone and eternal as long as man enforces it over other men.
     -- Anon     
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    Anon, dittos, Exactly! Thank you for more clarification.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Archer, I forgot to write earlier EXCELLENT!
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Waffler the go slow process is what was intended by our constitution. It is intended to help against bad legislation. Your group needs to go fast because that is how bad legislation is enacted. They know that if it is exposed to investigation and enough time goes by that the American people will find a way to put a stop to it. The main thing that stands in the way of a Dem is the constitution. That is why Obama has decided that it is outdated and needs to be ignored. That is why any one that defends the constitution is labeled a right wing fanatic.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Warren; there has been no group more guilty of trampling your constitution than the Reps - the sinister triumvirate: RR, GHWB and Dub Ya'. How much debate did the Patriot Act see?
     -- QA Man, Canada     
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    Good Warren real good, do you also recall just a few years ago when the Repub. may have had a Senate majority and the Dems were able to make them go slow. It goes both ways young man it goes both ways. My diatribe about the truth still stands, our society of freedom is predicated on majority rule under law. If the majority (even if through their representatives) say that the highway will go this way and not that way that is the way it will go. These guys have to go over and at least use to this simple fact. That there are innumerable things that a majority cannot do under our constitution, of course. If freemen cannot gather together and do something then they are not free at all, but all are then simply hamstrung by the one.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, your diatribe has never entered a realm or domain of truth. Your society and my society are not the same. My society exists with sovereign freemen united at law with no authority or lawful power to infringe on another individual's personal rights. Your, "Majority rule under law" is an oxymoron. You're just a moron. Majority rule and under law are diametrically opposed one to the other. The rule of law is neither subject to majority, or minority. A free society is based on law. Mob's rule by inherent tyranny and despotism is majority or minority rule. In the original jurisprudence of the U.S., there was no representation of a majority or minority. There was only representation of individual sovereignty and rights. Again, you raise an illegitimate (but popular for the ignorant slave sheeple of government schools) half truth based on a false dichotomy. I have given you the original intent and understanding of eminent domain - it can only exist with the individual's allodial freehold rights being preserved, property rights of the individual sovereign being held sacrosanct, and all other jurisprudence as may exist being base on the single sovereign status as superior to government. Government's usurpation of such demonstrates an alien despot, foreign in toto from 'We The People'. So your road example is only accurate if you give a complete scenario with 'law' as supreme, not a mob. Why don't you give more accurate example's that would more accurately depict the despotism of majority / minority rule such as compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, funny money, etc. "There are innumerable things that a majority cannot do under our constitution, of course" but, that is totally ignored under the auspices of majority rule. Freemen can always gather together to do anything they desire, as long as they don't infringe on another's individual rights. (period)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Reading in between the lines I see that democracy cannot survive other than in a high trust society and politicians always will undermine it and have since 1789. 


     -- Marx Carl, Hercules     
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