Democracy In Democracy

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“Democracy is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly” . This definition does not explicitly determine who “the people” are. Realistically, in a democratic form of government the majority among the people has the power to make decisions binding upon the whole . The question that naturally arises when analysing the ideas expressed by Rousseau, Mill and Tocqueville is the following: to what extent the rule of the majority in a democracy could become an impediment to minorities and still allow democracy to be considered as such? The rule of the majority is not directly an obstacle to minorities, but it could become despotic if it is not limited socially and politically. For…show more content…
Therefore, he introduces the idea that the rule of the majority is intrinsically related to democracy, but it does not directly means that it is also a tyranny. He saw democracy as an inevitable outcome, but not necessarily a good one because it could easily fall into a tyranny in certain circumstances. Similarly, Mill in On liberty points out that democracy was born when the people decided that “the rulers should be identified with the people, and that their interest and will should be the interest and will of the nation” . Moreover, Mill seems to agree with Tocqueville’s position that democracy does not necessarily guarantee liberty for…show more content…
Tocqueville, after having observed carefully the political system and the Constitution in place in the United States during his voyage in 1831, affirms that since the legislature is accountable directly to the people and is in power for a short term, than “it is the most easily swayed by the will of the majority” . Subsequently, the legislature, which reflects the interests of the majority within the citizens, becomes the most powerful branch in the government because both the executive and the judiciary are subject to the “caprice of the legislature”. Therefore, “the majority in America is not only preponderant, but irresistible” . In addition, Tocqueville observes that the majority does not only rule in the political scene, but even strongly in the private
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