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Where does the power of the majority to exercise power over the minority come from?

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It seems to me that we all recognize that certain laws passed by a democratic majority, that would violate our own moral principles, are indefensible, and indeed illegitimate. If this is true, where do the majority draw their power from? is this not just another form of tyranny? What exactly gives 51% of a group, the power to control the lives of the other 49%? And is there a consistent principle that limits their power?



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  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 2506 Pts   -  
    Why do we have to abide by the ruling of a 5-4 SCOTUS decision? Is this not just another form of tyranny? 
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • BastiatBastiat 39 Pts   -  
    Why do we have to abide by the ruling of a 5-4 SCOTUS decision? Is this not just another form of tyranny? 

    @Plaffelvohfen I'm not sure if you are meme-ing or not, but its a valid question, why do those 9 people have such awesome power. in other words, what is the true nature of the law, where does it get it's power from? and to what extent will we say it is perverted, and used in unjust ways? Most People tell you that power comes from the people, but how do we determine what powers may be legitimately delegated to the government from the people? surely not the ability to capriciously kill people? that would indeed be a perversion of the law. then there must be a line somewhere, no?
  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 2506 Pts   -   edited April 29
    @Bastiat

    My point was that the "power" comes from numbers... In my SCOTUS example, I meant it only in the context of a 5-4 decision, it was not about the power of the court or the nature of the law itself... Why should a 5-4 decision be valid?  Why does 50% + 1 wins you an election? Because it's the fastest and fairest way to reach a needed decision... The need for a decision is key, if there is no need for a decision in a group, no vote will occur... A vote is required only when there is a need to make a group decision...

    We could say that you either have tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority... From an utilitarian point of view, tyranny of the majority is the fairest (or less objectionable) one...  We can offset the majority rule principle with minority rights, as is the case practically everywhere (but then, rights are made law by the results of a majority's decision...).  Right do not come about out of thin air, they do not exist in a "natural state", they are all man made, they are created, and repealed, all the time, with a majority vote by a legislating body... 

    If we examine possible alternatives (supermajority or unanimity requirement) we can easily see how majority rule is the most practical one too... Can you imagine the next US Presidential election requiring 75% of the popular vote to be valid? You wouldn't have a functioning government for decades, it happened only 2 times in US history (Washington (but there was no other name on the ballots) and Monroe in 1820 with 80.61%... Even Jefferson in 1804 only got 72.9%... 
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • @Plaffelvohfen
    A vote is required only when there is a need to make a group decision...
    And if 2/3 of the voters have no stake in what is voted on?
  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 2506 Pts   -  
    @John_C_87

    If they really have no stake, then the result (whatever it may be) should be completely irrelevant to them... 
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • @Plaffelvohfen

    If we examine possible alternatives (supermajority or unanimity requirement) we can easily see how majority rule is the most practical one too... Can you imagine the next US Presidential election requiring 75% of the popular vote to be valid? You wouldn't have a functioning government for decades, it happened only 2 times in US history (Washington (but there was no other name on the ballots) and Monroe in 1820 with 80.61%... Even Jefferson in 1804 only got 72.9%... 

    The legal precedent of being a Presdient of the United States was different during the first few terms after the creation of an American President, as there had been no term limitation once elected to the executive office, which meant Impeachment of a Presdient was always the faster way to remove an elected representative held in the Exsecutive office,  by always addressing the American constitution preservation. This process could eject someone from office as soon as one year or soon when not preserving American Consitution in the executive office or prior in political office. 

     This was to limit abuses of the executive order, which are military commands and can be ignored when the burden of command is removed from a man who is sitting as executive officer. By relief of command, no tyranny can be sustained  All men are created equal when all another man who owns title to land as a lord might pick up the cause of preserving American condition by its union of principle. A political majority rule by conditions of the connection made with the people and democracy has no right, for as a majority they must first have the honor as a whole to be accountable as a group when wrong, otherwise, they are basically never a majority who can be in the right. There are only just rules, dictating the writing of law to govern with no compass of right and wrong to balanced by separation of principles.

    England and English Parliament failed both King and America when the Lord's granted land by service to the king, members of the 13 colonies had not been given their right of vote to be provided by the cost of taxation in the English parliament. A person might look into the influences of the English Parliament.
  • BastiatBastiat 39 Pts   -  
    @Bastiat

    My point was that the "power" comes from numbers... In my SCOTUS example, I meant it only in the context of a 5-4 decision, it was not about the power of the court or the nature of the law itself... Why should a 5-4 decision be valid?  Why does 50% + 1 wins you an election? Because it's the fastest and fairest way to reach a needed decision... The need for a decision is key, if there is no need for a decision in a group, no vote will occur... A vote is required only when there is a need to make a group decision...

    We could say that you either have tyranny of the majority or tyranny of the minority... From an utilitarian point of view, tyranny of the majority is the fairest (or less objectionable) one...  We can offset the majority rule principle with minority rights, as is the case practically everywhere (but then, rights are made law by the results of a majority's decision...).  Right do not come about out of thin air, they do not exist in a "natural state", they are all man made, they are created, and repealed, all the time, with a majority vote by a legislating body... 

    If we examine possible alternatives (supermajority or unanimity requirement) we can easily see how majority rule is the most practical one too... Can you imagine the next US Presidential election requiring 75% of the popular vote to be valid? You wouldn't have a functioning government for decades, it happened only 2 times in US history (Washington (but there was no other name on the ballots) and Monroe in 1820 with 80.61%... Even Jefferson in 1804 only got 72.9%... 

    My question is not what is pragmatic, My question is, what is morally defensible, and what is the underlying logic, that allows a group of people, to form a government, and exert power over others. in other words a group of people, have the ability to "delegate" their own power collectively into an "agent" the state, in order to help protect them. in this case it would take the form of the police. but those police have power, why is it, that we view a delegated power to protect, as legitimate, but a delegated power to "murder" as not legitimate. Its my contention that this is because the individuals themselves do not have the right to murder, they do however have a natural right to self defense. and it is only because the individuals have that right independent from the state, that they can then collectively delegate it to an agent in the form of the state. Individuals cannot delegate power they themselves do not posses, and rights are not determined by referendum. I admit that this would make little pragmatic sense in today's world, but that's not really my question, although your point is well taken. Now to explain the rights in nature bit. Rights are not man made even if you do not believe they come from god. "We hold these truths to be self evident" didn't mean "C'mon george its obvious!!" It meant that these rights which we claim exist in nature, not only do they exist, but to attempt to curtail them, would be a revolt against the nature of life itself. for self defense as an example, Every organism takes action to further its own prosperity, and every animal will react to threats against its life, including with deadly force. Even our own bodies unconsciously do this when they are attacked with a virus. It is something that is out of our control, the very nature of life itself cannot be changed by majority vote. Which rights government recognizes can be, however to do so would be akin to trying to ban eating or drinking, or sleeping. You can't do it. It does not work, these things are inscribed so deeply within our beings that no petty tyrant can take them away. They exist independent from government. I wonder then if there are no rights, how do you justify the creation of government at all? in other words, you may have a lot of people, but I have a nuke, and you all voted, but you have no natural right to life, and I disagree with you, soooooo bye bye. whats wrong with is if there are no natural rights? is it not just who can race their way to the top by whatever means?
  • @Plaffelvohfen
    If they really have no stake, then the result (whatever it may be) should be completely irrelevant to them... 
    Are you sure? it sounds like for each different kind of taxation we pay it should be the qualification to what levels of government we should be allowed to vote at.
  • BastiatBastiat 39 Pts   -  
    @John_C_87
    John_C_87 said:
    @Plaffelvohfen
    If they really have no stake, then the result (whatever it may be) should be completely irrelevant to them... 
    Are you sure? it sounds like for each different kind of taxation we pay it should be the qualification to what levels of government we should be allowed to vote at.
    But what gives the government the authority to tax in the first place? I mean I think we all agree that taxes are necessary to solve certain free rider problems, however where is the moral grounding in what is undeniably a violation of property rights?
  • anarchist100anarchist100 491 Pts   -   edited April 29
    @Bastiat
    It comes from the complacency and obedience of the majority.
  • BastiatBastiat 39 Pts   -  
    @anarchist100 *sigh* well I suppose you aren't wrong in practice lol
  • Bastiat said:
    @John_C_87
    John_C_87 said:
    @Plaffelvohfen
    If they really have no stake, then the result (whatever it may be) should be completely irrelevant to them... 
    Are you sure? it sounds like for each different kind of taxation we pay it should be the qualification to what levels of government we should be allowed to vote at.
    But what gives the government the authority to tax in the first place? I mean I think we all agree that taxes are necessary to solve certain free rider problems, however where is the moral grounding in what is undeniably a violation of property rights?
    We don't look at where the moral ground is located we search for the best united state that can be created, shared, and held in the constitution as a common defense to the general welfare at least in America. The idea of taxation without representation in the English Parliament became a legal issue as Lords who had been granted land inside the 13 colonies were not being given due course of seats in the English Empire's parliament. The constitutional common defense to taxation is a payment of service to the judicial separation of the courts as a united state in America.
  • BastiatBastiat 39 Pts   -  
    John_C_87 said:
    Bastiat said:
    @John_C_87
    John_C_87 said:
    @Plaffelvohfen
    If they really have no stake, then the result (whatever it may be) should be completely irrelevant to them... 
    Are you sure? it sounds like for each different kind of taxation we pay it should be the qualification to what levels of government we should be allowed to vote at.
    But what gives the government the authority to tax in the first place? I mean I think we all agree that taxes are necessary to solve certain free rider problems, however where is the moral grounding in what is undeniably a violation of property rights?
    We don't look at where the moral ground is located we search for the best united state that can be created, shared, and held in the constitution as a common defense to the general welfare at least in America. The idea of taxation without representation in the English Parliament became a legal issue as Lords who had been granted land inside the 13 colonies were not being given due course of seats in the English Empire's parliament. The constitutional common defense to taxation is a payment of service to the judicial separation of the courts as a united state in America.

    Ah I agree with everything you have said. I am not referring the American tradition. what I am discussing are essentially the theories that arose about where the authority of government came from that arose to attempt to counter the tyranny that the french revolution was descending in to.it's not about what's the most just system we can reasonably create. it's about examining the philosophical underpinnings of the state. But I agree with what you say about the American tradition.
  • What exactly gives 51% of a group, the power to control the lives of the other 49%? And is there a consistent principle that limits their power? The only necessity of control is over the 10% - 20% resting between the principles held in a united state by politics at an even 30% - 40%. In many ways, the idea is entrenched in Frances preamble as an introduction made on a long history and its construction of its own Consitutional principles.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1281 Pts   -   edited May 2
    @Bastiat

    Exactly which "certain laws passed by [the] democratic majority, that would violate our own moral principles", are you referring to? And since you have no descriptions of "our moral principles", how do we know you do have a sound understanding of "our moral principles" to begin with? 
  • AlofRIAlofRI 1390 Pts   -  
    We, as a democracy, accept the premise that the majority rules. It's supposed to be a "mutual agreement", not an "exercise of power". Those who call it an exercise of power are not accepting democracy. They are free to leave and we the people will not exercise our power to retain them, that is also democracy.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1524 Pts   -   edited May 2
    AlofRI said:
    We, as a democracy, accept the premise that the majority rules. It's supposed to be a "mutual agreement", not an "exercise of power". Those who call it an exercise of power are not accepting democracy. They are free to leave and we the people will not exercise our power to retain them, that is also democracy.

    The US isn't a democracy, and with good reason.
    AlofRI
  • @AlofRI
    We, as a democracy, 
    We the people are a united state, formed as a more perfect union with a legally conditional ability to vote as a voter, voting, that is governed in legal precedent. 
    Those who call it an exercise of power are not accepting democracy.
    Those who may exercise a true power assembly democracy around not anyone right to vote, power is defined as the basic principle which establishes a condition of an eligible member can have the best purpose in an opportunity to vote.
  • CYDdharta said:
    AlofRI said:
    We, as a democracy, accept the premise that the majority rules. It's supposed to be a "mutual agreement", not an "exercise of power". Those who call it an exercise of power are not accepting democracy. They are free to leave and we the people will not exercise our power to retain them, that is also democracy.

    The US isn't a democracy, and with good reason.
    The American Republic is a democracy, the shape of the union is made as an assembly of united state governed by actions of public affairs. A forum of the public can be allowed to conditional vote for a Presdient of these united states, by failure to hold the united state the democracy may only achieve an executive officer as the outcome of the conditional votes that had been placed in an inadequate united state.
  • bjinthirtybjinthirty 71 Pts   -  
    it comes from people who dont see a problem when a politician still goes to a booth guy to get his shoes polished.
  • AlofRIAlofRI 1390 Pts   -  
    John_C_87 said:
    @AlofRI
    We, as a democracy, 
    We the people are a united state, formed as a more perfect union with a legally conditional ability to vote as a voter, voting, that is governed in legal precedent. 
    Those who call it an exercise of power are not accepting democracy.
    Those who may exercise a true power assembly democracy around not anyone right to vote, power is defined as the basic principle which establishes a condition of an eligible member can have the best purpose in an opportunity to vote.
    Wha............? TF?
  • @AlofRI

    Majority rules?
    What happens to a women's vote when the reason for the question of validation is not sexual discrimination but criminal dismissal?
    What happens to a male vote when the reason for the question of validation is not discrimination but criminal dismissal?

    I am explaining a principle of why the majority of a voting base in America is not fixed by the casting of ballots and majority, which means the majority does not rule and there are conditions of justice that create a change of the total number of votes. A major fracture is the 19th Amendment was ratified under conditional allowance of vote partial or all women as a united state can have their vote on certain matters negated by law. The complete understanding of how basic principles such as "all men are created equal by their creator" can actually be applied to create all-women equal as well, that is once proven before the court, congress, and many other united states of the constitution union.

    This is good news, bad news type of situation as it does not mean another candidate running for an office in question can assume control of that office by the conditions placed on votes. It means only that conditions of the votes are changing to correct the ligal issue never addressed. The majority does not rule as the consensus of the majority can be corrected we know this is true as political issues are held in court all the time. 

    Up until now, the coaching in our education directed us towards men and women has been all men are created equal is a form of discrimination against women, what has also been coached but has not been understood to all women and men is law can create united states of larger groups of people then what is carried out by the 1st Amendment. The use of congress to assemble gun owners as criminals is a display of this type of action.
  • @AlofRI

    There can be a legal ultimatum made, The republic is only to presume all women innocent of crime taking place as a united state and it find it necessary to changes the titles, or descriptions of some matters which are voted on, or the vote can be disqualified altogether at the voter's request. 

    You have this illusion the when crimes occur with larger groups of people the idea of constitutional justice can not create separations to accommodate this type of political instigation to the general welfare.
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