"If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a
majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have
become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared
with those who claimed the right to rule over them."
Lysander Spooner
(1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist
No Treason, 1867
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Annette, Los Angeles      
So, why is it a small minority is ruling over us now? Even more important, why are we letting it happen? To arms! To arms! We have nothing to lose but our chains!
 -- jodopo, michigan     
    It's a fact that Congress likes to ignore. And why not - They almost claim that God wrote the Constitution.
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
    And such the foundation of the US falls, it is such a pity that the walls of it still stand despite.
     -- W. Liu     
    Terry, let me help clarify, it was by Divine providence that the God of Nature's influence inspired the Constitution. It was by atheistic and otherwise influences that destroyed it. The substance and reality of individual sovereignty is gone, replaced by tyrannical rhetoric and oppression.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    A constitutional republic puts great limits on the power of government, which is why we've been sold over to "democracy". Which is merely mob rule in a cheap suit.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Look at the three of which one will become president. We have come from George Washington to one of these . From statesmen to hacks in a little over 200 years.
     -- jim kilpatrick, austin, tx     
    I do enjoy the quotes and comments. Ditto to jodopo, Mike, and J Carlton. Perhaps there should be a segment during my weekly Saturday morning radio program (http://wezs.com/advocates 8:05-12 EST) where I read some of the quotes and your comments. Thanks folks!
     -- Niel Young, Laconia, N.H.     
  • 2
    The fathers did recognize that the majority had the right to rule the minority. What the hell else was the puropose of a constitutional convention of men from the various Confederated States (Articles of Confederation). They met, they pondered, and they voted. The majority ruled and we became a a more perfect union. Spooner is an a## for saying this. Many of these same men had prior experience in majority rule during the Continental Congress that ran the revolutionary war etcetera. What purpose is any convention or gathering of men to seek common purpose if it is not MAJORITY rule. Come on guys get a life, really!
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 1
    PS: I missed the fact that the majority Spooner was referring to was the UK. It could be argued that the UK was minority rule of the Colonial Majority in several ways. 1) Monarchy signifies the rule of One, mono means one. What more stringent minority rule could one have aleit I accept that UK also had a parliament. 2) I don't know the population numbers at the time but have read that Philadelphia was the second largest city in the world after London. 3) A majority only has power or rule within its manageable territory. The colonies were only manageable by the UK to the extent that public opinion allowed them to be. Once sufficient opinion shifted against the UK it was in essence all over. Adams said this happened in 1730's.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Mike I disagree with your thinking that the Declaration and Constitution dropped from the sky or was written by God. Your kind of thinking is what constitutes fraud in many walks of life especially the major religions of the world which claim their scriptures all came into being this way. Such dictatorship of the WORD be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, flies in the face of human equaltiy/democracy/republicanism. Marxism also incorporates this feature of dictatorship of the word, the word of Marx and Engels. From all such sources of these comes TOTALITARIANISM. I prefer the smaller totalitarianism of the mob. At least the mob is fluid and constantly chaning and thus I guess not really totalitarian at all.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
    In '76 I found that England and Wales were approximately 5,722,000 persons and the colonies were 1,600,000. The colonies were however increasing in population at a much faster rate than England. In fact doubling every twenty years. My source also said contemporaries in 1776 were aware of this fast rate of growth. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that many felt as did the "manifest destiny guys" that these colonies would increase while the mother land decreased thus they felt confident in pushing their agenda of independence for a future majority over a future minority.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 1
    Waffler, you are making no sense. You have missed the entire meaning of the quote due to your unyielding attempt to ignore facts. A plethora of ramblings does not an argument make. The distinctions between a Republic vs. a Democracy are clear if you choose not to ignore them. The US is not a democracy -- not even a de facto democracy, in my opinion, because the majority in fact does not rule -- the ruling class does! They choose the nominees, and the rest is just a statewide poll. Your vote is merely an opinion THEY have given you. Such is the delusion of socialism -- a monopoly of wealth and power at the expense of the free citizen. Spooner, as usual, is right on.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Waffler, how ever you slice and dice the statement is correct. Otherwise we should just revert to mob rule. Thank you Archer.
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Coercion and threats by 1 man or 100 men upon 1 man or 100 men are no less pernicious and criminal in nature.
     -- DSK, Falls Church VA     
    Remembering that Tories existed in the colonies (i.e. a minority that remained loyal to the crown of England), and yet that the sent representatives of each colony made agreements that were binding to the entire colony (including Tories), and brought each colony into armed conflict with England ... it is obvious that Spooner's premise is false. The 'majority' reps of the colonies ruled over the 'minority' wishes of the Tories in attending these conventions and moving forward in resistance. Thus it is implied by their very attendance that some level of majority rule over a minority is condoned by the founding fathers. And further demonstrated in the actions resulting from the conventions, which placed the entire represented colony into conflict. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with Spooner's premise ... but his example to authenticate does not work ... -- Tru, Colorado
     -- Tru, Colorado     
     -- Infinite Sovereign, Earth      
    Sometimes the majority just means all the fools are on the same side.
     -- empty pockets, NO, La     
     -- jim k, Austin      
    Let me say concerning a guiding post. A moral being is a light of honesty, instilled by compassion. The guiding post of this once unsoiled nation has become the whipping post of the old world ! To beat down the morally upright. It is an old world tactic of overthrow of the only Nation on earth set as a Free Republic. The minority of simple people only wanting to be free from Oppression of the Crown And a tyrannical ruler influenced by corrupt auxiliaries, the catholic church which has always condoned proletariat slavery. Thy coined the term. Widely used through out Europe ! We the Patriots do not like or need that influence once again laid upon our back. which as brought about the wave of discontent among Patriots to the Republic of the United States of America. Semper Fi
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    Waffler, you are an idiot that hates individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, and liberty at nature's / constitutional law. A primary purpose of the constitutional convention was to adjust perceived weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation; AND, REMOVE any and all dogmas / philosophies / etc. where man could rule over man (like in a democracy, a monarchy, a totalitarian oligarchy, etc.) The founders convention was to replace man's rule over man with a body politic of servants  ensuring each person's individual sovereignty, inalienable rights and liberty at "the law of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence)  the new experiment of slavery vs. individual sovereignty at law was held sacrosanct. 
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Was it minority rule?  Shouldn't we exam this matter of the "founding fathers" minority with sufficiently much more studied componential measure?
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
    Sillik, (to your question; "Was it minority rule?)  The answer; only in an ethos of mental illness where the illusion is presented as real. NO ! ! !  the topic of minority should NOT be studied more  the entire topic is a down the rabbit hole lie. The founder's sought servants to act at nature's "LAW"  as is absolutely adverse to man (majority, minority, or otherwise) enslaving man.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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