Source: The New Democrat
“BY THE age of six, John Stuart Mill had written a history of Rome. By seven, he was devouring Plato in Greek. “This looks like bragging,” his father James told a friend when the boy was eight; “John is now an adept in the first six books of Euclid and in Algebra.”
From The Economist
“In this lecture we look at John Stuart Mill’s influential work “On Liberty” in which he argues for the importance of individual liberties, especially freedom of opinion and expression.”
Source:Academy of Ideas– about John S. Mill.
From the Academy of Ideas
What is this is really about is democracy and there several different forms of democracy which I’m going to explain here. And if you’re familiar with this blog and my writing, you know that we believe in the liberal form of democracy which is liberal democracy which is what we advocate and I’m going to talk about here as well.
There are several different forms of democracy. Democracy in itself is just about voting and that citizens deserve the right to vote in their communities and country It’s just about being able to not only vote, but having choices in who you vote for. Different party’s and different candidates with the voters getting to decide who represents them in the legislature whether it’s local, state, or national. Or who get to serve as the chief executive of their community, state, or country. Don’t mistake democracy with freedom, because they’re two different things. In free societies of course they elect their leaders and representatives through democratic elections. But you could have a country that’s technically a democracy, but where you don’t have much freedom. Like Russia or Venezuela, or Iran.
What this blog promotes and what I promote with my blog is what’s called liberal democracy. America is a liberal democracy, where yes we have multi-party elections, but that’s not the basis of our government and not where our people get their freedom. We’re a liberal democratic constitutional federal republic. With all sorts of individual rights including the right to vote, but all the right to free speech, the right to worship or not worship, the right to privacy, property rights, the right to sell-defense, even the right to education. All coming not from God or some great Socialist who decided that we should all have these rights, but from our Constitution that was created by our Founding Fathers the Founding Liberals of America.
According to Wikipedia
“Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Also called western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world.”
So when someone is talking about the tyranny of the majority, they’re saying that lets say in a majoritarian democracy where majority vote always rules or in a social democracy with similar outcomes where a lot of policy decisions are made through referendum, what they mean by tyranny of the majority is that the majority getting to rule over the minority and be able to make decisions on their behalf simply because they have more votes than the minority.
Anyone with a basic social studies understanding of American government and our Constitution that you could get at any quality high school in this country, knows that the majority doesn’t always get their way.
Look at the U.S. Senate where you almost always 60-100 votes to pass anything, or our constitutional amendment process, where you need 2/3 majority from both the House and Senate in Congress, as well as 34-50 states to approve any constitutional amendment. Or the U.S. Supreme Court that throws out laws that were passed with a majority because they’re unconstitutional. Or our Electoral College where big states don’t get to rule over smaller states in the presidential election simply because their states are bigger.
In a liberal democracy, of course we have the right to vote, but we have so many other individual rights as well both personal as well as economic. We own or rent our homes instead of government deciding where we live. Law enforcement needs a warrant in order to enter our homes and property.
Our right to free speech, the right to practice or not practice religion, equal rights and justice under law.
The right not to be discriminated against and denied access in society simply because of our race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
The right to make our own personal decisions and choices which is protected by our 4th Amendment.
These are just some of the examples of what makes up a liberal democracy and why I’m a Liberal Democrat ideologically, because I believe in liberal democracy. The right to be left alone and live freely in society. Along with other great liberal values like free press, rule of law, checks and balances, separation of powers, federalism, and limited government.