“Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway.”
Good Day my Fellow Americans and Patriots
“Lex Majoritis Partis” – literal translation being the law of the majority party or in practical terms – the majority rules.
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founding Fathers discussed and argued this principle as the Constitution and Bill of Rights were being developed. Jefferson wrote to Alexander von Humboldt in 1817, “The first principle of republicanism is that the Lex Majoritis Partis is the fundamental law of every society of individuals of equal rights; to consider the will of the society enounced by the majority of a single vote as sacred as if unanimous is the first of all lessons in importance, yet the last which is thoroughly learnt. This law once disregarded no other remains but that of force, which ends necessarily in military despotism.”
The Founding Fathers, who escaped tyranny, fought so hard to develop a form of government, a republic, that was balanced and whose powers were checked against one another to ensure that tyranny in any form would not be permitted.
They understood the new government needed the application of the majority rule principle to function properly and to effectively express the will of the people, in mass, knowing that the inverse principle of minority rule would simply not work in a democracy.
In fact, minority rule by king or despot or small factions was at the forefront of their minds as the new country was taking shape and the guiding documents were being drafted.
However, at the same time the Founders, particularly Madison, were so concerned with protecting the rights of the minority that this was the premise of the Bill of Rights. Consequently, the Founders in their brilliance, developed our form of government, a democratic republic, to operate on several key principles such as majority rule, protection of minority rights, the consent of the governed and the power and authority derived from the citizenry.
To the issue of minority rule and factions, Madison addressed this in his essay, The Federalist #10, where he speaks of how to guard against factions or groups of citizens whose interests are contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community. He provides the reader with a warning of the potential for destruction of the republic if minority factions are not dealt with.
I believe this is what we are currently experiencing across our country – the movement toward or the empowering of minority rule. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on why there is so much upheaval and unrest in America today. But the problem seems clearer to me now as I went back and read documents authored by Jefferson and Madison.
I think, perhaps, that we are slowly experiencing minority rule in this country. It is evidenced in the street corners of our cities and in the squares of our universities. Some would say that it has been occurring for several years and is exemplified from the highest office in this land.
Demands – not requests or suggestions – are being made of institutions by individuals, small groups or factions. In some instances these demands may be credible, but many others are just the demands of narcissists.
There are students demanding that references and symbols of this country’s history be removed from the walls, minority Muslim students at Catholic Universities demanding that pictures and statues of Christ be removed or additional religious holidays observed in school districts. Others are aggressively demanding that landowners evacuate their legal properties which have been in their family for generations. We have other small groups demanding the removal of officials from their appointed offices based upon unrealistic demands.
Furthermore, and even more concerning is when a difference of opinion exists between people of a minority group or faction and the majority, per se. Minority groups completely discount and radically object to any opinion or position contrary to their own.
A great example of this was when University of Missouri professor Melissa Click called for “muscle” to rid their group of a photographer who was exercising his right to film the group who was protesting at the university. She demanded that he leave and she wanted the group to back up her demands with force.
This is what I see happening more frequently across America – the utilization of force or the threat of violence to back minority groups’ demands. No longer are differing opinions and disagreements settled by civil discourse. In its place is the application of force or the threat of force.
Minority groups, radical or otherwise, who believe they lack power, are the first to contest and abolish majority rule in order to make the government what they want it to be. A free government cannot exist without majority rule and acceptance of the power of the majority to make decisions is necessary for our continued existence as a nation.
Minority rule in this country will not work, should not be permitted to work and a movement toward that will not last. Without the principle of majority rule, every other principle of our republic becomes nullified. The rule of law is tossed aside and the only thing that remains is that of force.
I understand that there are grievances and concerns that from time to time need to be addressed in order to correct wrongs made by the majority. But the utilization of force is not the answer to correct any perceived wrongs. Particularly if we desire that our country continues to exist. As Jefferson stated, “Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments.”
Viper One Six – Out
Published December 3, 2015 Gatehouse Media | The Leavenworth Times
My question is, “How do you define majority/minority?” I know it is a simple definition, but today there are so many microcosms with the many macrocosms. Oppression is everywhere within these units, so the voices will speak. Thus the unrest. The unrest isn’t so black and white. and neither is the answer.
The Founders of our nation believed it was necessary to establish a representative form of government. They knew that a Republic, by its definition and meaning, needed more in order to curtail any possibility of any Aristocracy or Monarchism and therefore combined the principle of democracy with republicanism. Consequently, we have a representative government through which our elected leaders administer the duties of government and hence the majority rule is defined through votes cast in terms of legislation. Therefore, the majority rule is through the passage of legislation.
You mention that oppression is everywhere within “units of macro and microcosms.” As I understand their individual meanings (macro and microcosm) and reference those definitions against the topic at hand – majority rule in the U.S.- it appears your statement would refer to the country as a whole since macro would be the whole nation and micro would be smaller parts therein. Therefore, you must mean that oppression is everywhere throughout this country. If that is the case – I personally don’t believe that but I certainly agree to disagree – then why is it only a minority of citizens are voicing their concerns and not everyone. I don’t feel oppressed. Many of my friends and colleagues haven’t indicated that they are oppressed. Who is oppressed then? There may be some segments of our society that feel oppressed or are oppressed by other individuals but not by the government. Certainly, the Black Lives Matter Movement believes that not only the government, its agencies (specifically the police) but individuals are oppressing them. Interesting little side bar – We have so many federal laws established to address the issues of minorities in this country as so fervently prescribed by Madison. Many examples such as Affirmative Action come to mind. Lets talk about that for a minute. Can you answer why I had to score a 97% or higher on my police examination in order to be hired and a person of other ethnicity only needed a 85%. Talk about oppressed, I think that is oppression and discrimination to boot.
But back to the topic of oppression and your comment. I would submit that many people fabricate their perceived oppression as an excuse for their own selfishness and their own narcissism. We have people today who want to change everything because of the way they feel versus factual documentation of oppression or otherwise. They feel that if someone looks at them sideways that this is racism and therefore elevate that feeling to criminal racist behavior. Really? I guess life just isn’t sanitized enough for them. If I were to elevate every little snide look and derogatory comment made at me to a criminal complaint, I would be in court all the time. Life is not all pristine and rosie.
Perhaps you heard this total absurd demand by students of a university lately: Students demanded that free yoga classes be terminated, completely done away with, ca-putz, etc. Why you may ask? Because some person (a minority group) thought that because Yoga was an ancient Indian (country of India) mental and physical technique per se and Great Britain colonized India during the 1800’s then any undertaking by a western culture of the practice of Yoga was imperialistic and consequently supportive of perceived colonialist abuses. Huh? Who is this lunatic? However, (and I lay blame on the majority here) due the majority in this instance not having any backbone the minority succeeded in their demands and wallah – no more yoga at that university.
Terrible because I happen to love Yoga and practiced it while in Afghanistan. Ouch, big no-no since Afghanistan was part of the British colonization scheme just a few short years ago I must have been part of that terribleness somehow. If it was terrible? I don’t know since it appears that India is doing pretty good for itself.
Silly example you may say. Really? I say this a perfect example and evidence of minority rule. I also add that that it is absolutely idiotic. I can go on and on but I do recognize that there are injustices and wrongs committed by the majority. However, I say there are established processes to address those wrongs and those processes which are to utilize civility and our representative government.
Voices are one thing, certainly that is protected by our Bill of Rights, but minority rule and force exerted to enforce minority rule is tyranny and that can not be allowed to sustain itself otherwise the future of our country is at risk.
Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it and respect your opinion. I hope I have answered or addressed your question.