225 Years Ago

July 30, 2015

The Power of the Majority
Most alarming to him was the power of the majority, which he thought would distort every sphere of human life.
Despots of the past tyrannized through blood and iron. But the new breed of democratic despotism “does not proceed in this way; it leaves the body and goes straight for the soul.”

That is, the majority reaches into citizens’ minds and hearts. It breaks citizens’ will to resist, to question its authority, and to think for themselves. The majority’s moral power makes individuals internally ashamed to contradict it, which in effect silences them, and this silencing culminates in a cessation of thinking. And we see this happen almost daily: to stand against the majority is to ruin yourself.

Tocqueville 

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