How does democracy lead to tyranny? Democracy then degenerates into tyranny where no one has discipline and society exists in chaos. Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. Power must be seized to maintain order. A champion will come along and experience power, which will cause him to become a tyrant.
How democracy can turn into tyranny?
The first road to totalitarian tyranny (though by no means the most frequently used) is the overthrow by force of a liberal democracy through a revolutionary movement, as a rule a party advocating tyranny but unable to win the necessary support in free elections.
How does democracy lead to tyranny?
Democracy then degenerates into tyranny where no one has discipline and society exists in chaos. Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. Power must be seized to maintain order. A champion will come along and experience power, which will cause him to become a tyrant. Click to see full answer. People also ask, what does democracy lead to?
Is Democracy becoming the tyranny of the dumbest?
Unrestricted Democracy is nothing more than Mob Rule and mobs like sheep will follow the loudest bell/voice. So, Democracy has always been the tyranny of the dumbest. The Greeks are credited with establishing Democracy, we get the word tyranny from the Greeks to.
Is democracy a tyrannical system?
This means that an absolute monarchy could be liberal (but hardly democratic) and a democracy could be totalitarian, illiberal, and tyrannical, with a majority brutally persecuting minorities.
What is a democratic tyranny?
The tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions.
Who said democracy is the tyranny of the majority?
Alexis de Tocqueville, oil on canvas. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville is universally regarded as one of the most influential books ever written about America.
What makes a tyranny?
A tyrant (from Ancient Greek τύραννος, tyrannos), in the modern English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law, or one who has usurped a legitimate ruler's sovereignty. Often portrayed as cruel, tyrants may defend their positions by resorting to repressive means.
Is democracy the worst form of government?
Winston Churchill once said that: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” His cynicism was perhaps justified after the British people voted him out from his position as Prime Minister within months of winning the Second World War.
Why is democracy not considered simply a rule of majority?
(i) In democratic set-up, the majority always needs to work with the minority, so that governments represent the general view. (ii) Majority and minority opinions are not permanent. (iii) The rule by majority does not become rule by majority community in terms of religion, race, linguistic groups, etc.
Why did the founders believe that democracy could conflict with liberty How did they define liberty?
How did they define liberty? They believed liberty was freedom from excessive economic issues, intrusions, and uprisings. Moreover, the Framers and Founders believed that excessive democracy would lead to a loss of liberty due to the redistribution of land and wealth that would be sure to follow.
What is government tyranny?
1 : an act or the pattern of harsh, cruel, and unfair control over other people. 2 : a government in which all power is in the hands of a single ruler. More from Merriam-Webster on tyranny.
What does tyranny mean in government?
tyranny, in the Greco-Roman world, an autocratic form of rule in which one individual exercised power without any legal restraint.
What is an example of tyranny?
The definition of tyranny is a government or ruler with total power. An example of tyranny is a country run by a cruel dictator. A tyrannical act. Refused to submit to her husband's tyrannies.
Is democracy the best form of government?
Democracy is considered as the best form of government because of the following reasons: In democracy, people have the right to choose their rulers. If rulers do not work well, people will not elect him in the next election. Democracy has more freedom of speech than any other forms of government.
What type of government is the best and why?
Why democracy is the best form of government?The rulers of the nation are elected by the public.It is a government run by and for the people.Democracy improves the quality of decision-making.Democracy provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens.More items...
What did Plato say about democracy?
Plato does not believe that democracy is the best form of government. According to him, equality brings power-seeking individuals who are motivated by personal gain. They can be highly corruptible, and this can eventually lead to tyranny.
How could a democracy, even an initially liberal one, develop into a totalitarian tyranny?
How could a democracy, even an initially liberal one, develop into a totalitarian tyranny? As we said in the beginning, there are three avenues of approach, and in each case the evolution would be of an “organic” nature. The tyranny would evolve from the very character of even a liberal democracy because there is, from the beginning on, a worm in the apple: freedom and equality do not mix, they practically exclude each other. Equality doesn’t exist in nature and therefore can be established only by force. He who wants geographic equality has to dynamite mountains and fill up the valleys. To get a hedge of even height one has to apply pruning shears. To achieve equal scholastic levels in a school one would have to pressure certain students into extra hard work while holding back others.
What does Plato say about tyranny?
Plato, in his Republic, tells us that tyranny arises, as a rule, from democracy. Historically, this process has occurred in three quite different ways. Before describing these several patterns of social change, let us state precisely what we mean by “democracy.”. Pondering the question of “Who should rule,” the democrat gives his answer: “the ...
Why did Tocqueville go to America?
Tocqueville, a genuine liberal and legitimist, had gone to America not only because he was concerned with trends in the United States, but also on account of the electoral victory of Andrew Jackson, the first Democrat in the White House and the man who introduced the highly democratic Spoils System, a genuine invitation to corruption. The Founding Fathers, as Charles Beard has pointed out, hated democracy more than Original Sin. But now a French ideology, only too familiar to Tocqueville, had started to conquer America.
How should government be exercised?
Genuine liberalism is the answer to an entirely different question: How should government be exercised? The answer it provides is: regardless of who rules, government must be carried out in such a way that each person enjoys the greatest amount of freedom, compatible with the common good. This means that an absolute monarchy could be liberal (but hardly democratic) and a democracy could be totalitarian, illiberal, and tyrannical, with a majority brutally persecuting minorities. (We are, of course, using the term “liberal” in the globally accepted version and not in the American sense, which since the New Deal has been totally perverted.)
Which party did not win the elections in Alexander Kerenski's democratic Russian Republic?
The Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party could not win the elections in Alexander Kerenski’s democratic Russian Republic and therefore staged a coup with the help of a defeated, marauding army and navy, and in this way established a firm socialistic tyranny.
Who was the first political analyst to describe the state of tyranny?
The first political analyst who foresaw this hitherto-never-experienced kind of evolution was Alexis de Tocqueville. He drew an exact and frightening picture of our Provider State (wrongly called Welfare State) in the second volume of his Democracy in America, published in 1835; he spoke at length about a form of tyranny which he could only describe, but not name, because it had no historic precedent. Admittedly, it took several generations until Tocqueville’s vision became a reality.
Do the tighten your belt parties have the courage to undo the policies of the Santa Claus parties?
The Tighten-Your-Belt parties, if they unexpectedly gain power, generally act more wisely, but they rarely have the courage to undo the policies of the Santa parties. The voting masses, who frequently favor the Santa parties, would retract their support if the Tighten-Your-Belt parties were to act radically and consistently. Profligates are usually more popular than misers. In fact, the Santa Claus parties are rarely utterly defeated, but they sometimes defeat themselves by featuring hopeless candidates or causing political turmoil or economic disaster.
What happens when a tyrant becomes unhappy with the democratic leaders?
When he becomes unhappy with the democratic leaders, he accuses them of being “cursed oligarchs”, and trials and impeachments begin. The democratic city becomes disordered and chaotic, and the citizens look for a leader who can restore order. And so, with the support of the mob, the tyrant comes into power.
How does an excessive desire for freedom lead to the downfall of democracy?
However, just as an excessive desire for wealth leads to the downfall of oligarchy, an excessive desire for freedom leads to the downfall of democracy. In a democracy, citizens are free to indulge any appetite and live any kind of life they desire. These appetites begin to grow, and the democratic man begins to reject any principle which restricts his ability to satisfy his desires. He starts to chafe at the lightest touch of authority and ceases to care about any laws that interfere with his freedom. When he becomes unhappy with the democratic leaders, he accuses them of being “cursed oligarchs”, and trials and impeachments begin. The democratic city becomes disordered and chaotic, and the citizens look for a leader who can restore order. And so, with the support of the mob, the tyrant comes into power.
What does Plato say about democracy?
In this passage from Book VIII of The Republic, Plato describes how democracy can arise from oligarchy and descend into tyranny. Starting with the oligarchical state, in which the rulers aim to become as wealthy as possible, Plato explains how oligarchy reduces many ordinary citizens to poverty.
What happens if there is any ally which aids the oligarchical principle within him?
And if there be any ally which aids the oligarchical principle within him, whether the influence of a father or of kindred, advising or rebuking him, then there arises in his soul a faction and an opposite faction, and he goes to war with himself.
What is the third class in democracy?
The people are a third class, consisting of those who work with their own hands; they are not politicians, and have not much to live upon. This, when assembled, is the largest and most powerful class in a democracy. True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey.
Why do the rulers refuse to curtail by law the extravagance of the spendthrift youth?
The rulers, being aware that their power rests upon their wealth, refuse to curtail by law the extravagance of the spendthrift youth because they gain by their ruin; they take interest from them and buy up their estates and thus increase their own wealth and importance?
When a democracy thirsting for freedom has evil cup bearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too?
When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cup-bearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs.
What is the tyranny of the minority?
The tyranny of the minority was represented by absolute monarchy (a tyranny of the one) or an oligarchy (a tyranny of the few). The tyranny of custom and tradition could take the form of social and psychological pressures on individuals or small groups of individuals to conform to the prejudices and narrow-mindedness of wider communities who ...
How did the tyrants rationalize their claim to unrestrained authority?
They have rationalized their claim to unrestrained authority by appeal to a “divine right of kings” or a higher meaning of “freedom” that expresses the “will of the people” as a whole through the tyrant’s supreme power.
What are the three forms of tyranny?
In his famous essay “On Liberty” (1859), the British social philosopher John Stuart Mill warned that tyranny could take three forms: the tyranny of the minority, the tyranny of the majority, and the tyranny of custom and tradition. The tyranny of the minority was represented by absolute monarchy (a tyranny of the one) or an oligarchy ...
What is the political trick played by social justice proponents and the redistributive advocates?
In our day and age, one of the political tricks played by the “social justice” proponents and the redistributive advocates is to insist that what they call for and demand in terms of government economic and social policy is really the “democratic” will of the majority, and any opposition or resistance to it is a demonstration of that person being an opponent of “democracy,” therefore, an enemy of freedom and the free society.
What are the ideas of liberty and democracy?
For most of the last three centuries, the ideas of liberty and democracy have been intertwined in the minds of both friends and foes of a free society. The substitution of absolute monarchies with governments representative of the voting choices of a nation’s population has been considered part and parcel with the advancement of freedom ...
Which two groups denied limits on their power to command and coerce those under their control?
Both monarchs of the past and dictators more in the present have denied limits on their power to command and coerce those under their control.
Is compulsory unionism a tyranny?
Their political and financial power is heavily dependent on their ability to compel mandatory dues from public employees. Compulsory unionism has been a tyranny of a minority of workers manipulating wages and work accessibility at the expense of the majority of the labor force as a whole.
What is the problem with democracies?
The problem with democracies is not what kind of liberties it promotes, or indeed that citizens can aspire for better lives on their own accord. In Socrates we find the ‘inherent contradiction’ of democracies (sidenote: if Marx may excuse my borrowing his terminology for the critique of capitalism). And the inherent contradiction is spelled out very clearly in five stages that lead to the election of demagogues and dictators.
When a democracy thirsts for freedom, does it have evil cup bearers?
When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cupbearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs.
What does Socrates argue about the status quo?
Socrates argues that in such situations, it is not surprising that the state functionaries and those who have gained economic advantages will work together to maintain the status quo. Legislation will follow in favour of the rich, who in turn will pay for the ‘favours’ to the political elite (sounds familiar?).
What is the third stage of corruption?
Stage 3 – new leaders. At the third stage, the ‘new leader’ (from the second class) is by definition corrupt. After all, their role is not leadership; their role is to increase the advantages of their class. Promising freedom and end to corruption, they can take any extra-legal measures.
What will happen in the second stage of the free elections?
Not surprisingly, the ‘free elections’ will lead to electing someone from the second class.
What is the encroachment of liberty?
Provided with liberty, people will react to any restrictions to authority, including authorities in form of expertise (sounds familiar?). Any kind of instruction or advice is considered as an encroachment to liberty. However, this also means that any kind of leadership that functions as a barrier to unlimited freedom is accused of authoritarianism. The only kind of leadership that is able to stand is one that promises to remove obstacles to freedom. There is an important notice here: obstacles insofar the support base considers that to be so – the leadership in question functions as a mouthpiece for the wishes of the supporters. It is, in other words, not a leadership at all (hence the contradiction).
How do others gain economic advantages?
Others will gain economic advantages through their use of (somewhat limited) freedom.
Who wrote about the tyranny of the majority?
Perhaps the most influential individual to write about the tyranny of the majority—and to articulate how this concept relates specifically to the United States—is French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, who traveled to the United States in 1831. He asserted that, given every American’s roughly equal intellectual stature to his fellow citizens, “public opinion” (as he called it) would become an overwhelming force in American politics. Tocqueville questioned if public opinion was always motivated by the right reasons. “I regard as impious and detestable,” Tocqueville wrote, “the maxim that in matters of government the majority of a people has the right to do everything.” Tocqueville, like Plato before him, believed that justice can—and often must—reside outside of the immediate desires of the People. Democracy, however, is based on the majority’s voice. So if we’re to avoid a “tyranny of the majority,” we would essentially have to, in some way, temper pure democracy. You can learn more about this in our narrative about constitutional democracy, but in the meantime, let’s turn to the specific tactics the founders used to avoid what they would have considered “mob rule.”
What order of government does Socrates describe?
Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Tyranny. From best to worst, this is the order in which regimes degrade, as described by Socrates in Plato’s Republic. You’re probably thinking: I thought democracy was good! Why did Socrates, arguably the most famous philosopher of all time, think it was so dangerous? Well, Socrates and Plato, in addition to many other prominent political philosophers that followed them, were concerned that democracies might lead to a tyranny of the majority, whereby the majority of citizens oppresses the minority in a democratic state. Typically, a tyrannical majority is led by a demagogue who ridicules the previous established power, appeals to popular sentiment, and launches attacks against minority groups—all to the delight of the demagogue’s supporters.
What is the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority?
The concept of a “superior force of an interested and overbearing majority,” as Madison calls it in Federalist Paper #10, has been an inherent flaw of democratic governments long before the founding of the United States . The early democracies of Athens and Rome experienced several moments where a popular tyrant would rise to power, appear to represent the sentiments of the poor, “left out” majority, and launch an aggressive campaign in the name of restoring power to the people. And in the French Revolution, after overthrowing the ruling elites, Robespierre and other revolutionaries clamoring for equality made the streets run red with blood during the Reign of Terror, before emperor Napoleon Bonaparte overtook power.
Who was elected democratically and not considered a tyrant?
In his " History of the Peloponnesian War ," the Greek historian Thucydides provides an example of how the Athenian statesman Pericles , who was elected democratically and not considered a tyrant, was nonetheless able to manipulate the Athenian citizenry: "Whenever he sensed that arrogance was making them more confident than the situation merited, he would say something to strike fear into their hearts; and when on the other hand he saw them fearful without good reason, he restored their confidence again. So it came about that what was in name a democracy was in practice government by the foremost man."
What is the birthplace of democracy?
In classical Athens, the birthplace of democracy, the democratic assembly was an arena filled with rhetoric unconstrained by any commitment to facts or truth. So far, so familiar.
Why is misleading speech important to despots?
Misleading speech is the essential element of despots, because despots need the support of the people. Demagogues' manipulation of the Athenian people left a legacy of instability, bloodshed and genocidal warfare, described in Thucydides' history.
- With that in mind, and to a point already made above, another main idea is that the decent into tyranny can only be avoided a few ways. 1. via a Monarchy, 2. via an Aristocracy, or 3. via what Plato calls a Kallipolis (beautiful city or Ideal city; an ideal mixed Republic like the U.S. which is part democracy, part oligarchy, part timocracy, and part aristocracy with each higher form restra…
- Like a chariot driver restrains their horses, or like how a sage restrains their base desires with their intellect and wisdom, a mixed-Republic restrains itself via a mix of government types with a system of checks and balances (with each wiser form restraining the other more liberal form; but with each form having freedom and playings its role).
- TIP: The most important concept in the Republic, in terms of this idea, is the premise (there are five aspects of government, soul, state, person, etc) and the solution (a system of checks and balances, in the right mix, to avoiding giving too much power to the corrupting but desirable virtues of liberty, equality, and wealth even though this a the natural desire). We naturally desire t…
- Thus this page not only explains Platos Theory of how democracy leads to tyranny according to Plato (or more specifically, to Platos Socrates who is the main character of the book), it also offers insight into his related metaphors (as we have already done a bit above). TIP: The reality is that large portions of Platos Republic and Platos Laws give insight into exactly what Plato is tryi…
- From a selfish modern angle, we are looking at how our American Republic was constructed as a safeguard against tyranny, and how our democratic, oligarchical, and at times timocratic (merit-based, honor-based, and militaristic) nature can be a slippery slope toward a tyrannical government (if we forget the original spirit of the laws upon which the U.S. was cleverly founded …
- IMPORTANT: This is all a metaphor for the soul and an answer to the question what is justice. It is an answer to the question what is the importance of ethics? It is, a metaphorical theory of [almost] everything pertaining to our humanity from one of the most important and prophetic works of philosophy in history. Be wary of shallow readings.
- See this Golden Mean chart for example (note that democracy and oligarchy are both based on vices of excess; they need to be retrained by true virtues like wisdom, honor, and duty):
- Although wealth is the most corrupting of the virtues (when it becomes greed), it actually has a few perks over pure liberty and equality (which become extreme quickly as mob rule sets in), as at least oligarchy has some semblance of order and restraints.
- By allowing this specialization via a state-fostered class system, we allow all aspects of the human condition the liberty to arise, but ensure a balance of traits in society by, for example, ensuring that those who seek truth, not vice, run the state, while those who seek wealth, but not truth, in turn rule their sphere of business and trade.
- In a democracy, one who should be a philosopher-king spends their youth seeking vice, a warrior amasses wealth where they should focus only on honor (like a timocrat or aristocrat) and a defense of the values of the state, a popular artist thinks themselves a politician, and a oligarch or warrior may be lifted up by the people to the status of God-King (but without the wisdom to rule j…