Pendulum Balance

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Tyranny of The Mob

Why are we a Republic, not a Democracy?

The United States is not a democracy, it is a republic. In a democracy, the majority rules. In a republic, the individual is protected from the majority.

Here's another way to look at it:

If 51% vote to steal your bike, you are without a bike. It does not matter if it is right or not, what the majority says is what happens. (Democracy vs a Republic Perfectly Explained For Dummies)

A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. What the wolves want matters, but so does what the sheep wants. (Preventing "The Tyranny of the Majority")

The Tyranny of the Majority. The Tyranny of the Minority. Mobs Online. Tyranny expressed in laws or misuse of laws.

Mob RuleWe live in an age where decades of laws and cultural norms have been amassed to empower various combinations of the majority, and often a caustically vocal minority, or mobs online via social media, to deprive individuals of their rights and liberty. Just because a large group of people wants to take rights or property from someone else, that doesn't mean they should be able to.

Politicians MUST weigh the ramifications of their decisions based not only on the impacts to the general public, community, and neighbors, but also based on the impacts to the individual being regulated or controlled by government authority. There must be balance. Politicians are becoming more and more populist, driven by the loud, shrill voice of the masses amplified by the social media hyperdrive. That is the mob rule that the concept of a Republic is meant to protect against. We must govern ourselves by rule of law, fairness, and balance, not by the emotional heaves of opinion, mood, and frenzy. Contrary to popular belief among some, government is not a means for the public to get what it wants from individuals. It is a means and a firewall to protect individuals and their liberties from being unjustly taken whether by thieves, lawless mobs, or the general public acting as a mob.

Lately the concept of "Democratic Socialism" seems to have become more and more attractive to some, especially younger generations who don't have the benefit of seeing history first hand. Older generations have seen the struggle and understand the pitfalls. Younger generations, thankfully, are idealistic. Channelled with an understanding of history, that young idealism is the lifeblood and vitality that can and should carry the human race higher and higher. But, it can also make us repeat unnecessary and devastating mistakes. While the idea of equal prosperity for all sounds good and would be awesome if we could achieve it, it simply can't and doesn't work. In order to lift up some, you have to tear down others. The net outcome to society is not net progress. In fact, as proven time and again in other "experiments" throughout the world (Greece, Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Union, and on and on), it creates catastrophic net decline and even implosion to great human suffering. I've been to Romania. I've seen how corrupt, power hungry, and unrighteous men can crush the soul and economy of a nation wearing the sheep's clothing of "equality for all" communism. If all people were truly noble and pure, it would work. By all people, I mean the the entire leadership and bureaucracy being driven be a pure, infallible, selfless drive for the good of ALL people with no drive to hurt one to lift others. I mean the entire citizenry being pure, selfless, and willing to carry their weight and more. But human nature proves again and again how destructively impure, imperfect, corrupt, lazy, and selfish it really is. Not everyone is willing to pull their full weight and therefore they sink the system with their collective weight. Probably the greatest fatal flaw is the inevitable urge for people in power to become corrupt and abusive of that power. This "Unrighteous Dominion" and giving too much power to government is ultimately where the noble ideas of equality fail. Adding the word "Democratic" at first glance seems a superficial way to dress up the word "Socialism" to appear noble, to disguise or shed it of the stigma and lessons of history. But when you understand the difference between a Republic and a Democracy, you realize that there is some ironic truth to be taught by combining the two words. Democracy played out to its worst potential can become socialism when it becomes simply a means for a large group of people to gang up and take stuff and freedom from others.

While clearly a core role of government is to protect The Common Good, when individual liberty is crushed in the name of The Common Good, tyranny and Common Bondage are advanced instead. Tyranny can come from from an overreaching populace just as much as it can come from an abusive autocrat. Elected officials are the firewall that are supposed to judiciously protect us from that.

More Articles:

The Rise of Mob Rule in America

“Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.” Thomas Jefferson

Why We Are a Republic, Not a Democracy

"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 of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result 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." James Madison

More Quotes:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin

"Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide." ― John Adams

"Democracy is the most vile form of government. ... 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 the have been violent in their deaths."— James Madison (1751-1836) Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the U. S.

"We are a Republic. Real Liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy."— Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Lawyer, Secretary of the Treasury & Secretary of State

"A simple democracy is the devil's own government."— Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) Founding Father & signer of the Declaration of Independence

"Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few."— John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States and Patriot

"A democracy is a volcano, which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption, and carry desolation in their way."— Fisher Ames (1758-1808) Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution

"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine percent."— Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the U. S.

"Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state, it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage."— John Witherspoon (1722-1794) Educator, Economist, Minister, Writer & Founding Father

"The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty."— Fisher Ames (1758-1808) Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution

"We have seen the tumults of democracy terminate, in France, as they have everywhere terminated, in despotism."— Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) Statesman, Diplomat, writer of the final draft of the Constitution

"In democracy … there are commonly tumults and disorders … Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth."— Noah Webster (1758-1843) Father of the Dictionary & American Patriot

"All such men are, or ought to be, agreed, that simple governments are despotisms; and of all despotisms, a democracy, though the least durable, is the most violent."— Fisher Ames (1758-1808) Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution

"But between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."— John Marshall (1755-1835) House Member, Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

"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."— James Madison (1751-1836) Father of the Constitution, 4th President of the United States

Jason Barney | jason@jasonbarney.com | 480-818-2000 | Back to Home Page