Tyranny of the majority
The tyranny of the majority is an inherent weakness of majority rule in which the majority of an electorate can and does place its own interests above, at the expense of those in the minority. This results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot, argued John Stuart Mill in his 1859 book On Liberty. American founding father Alexander Hamilton, writing to Thomas Jefferson from the Constitutional Convention, argued the same fears regarding the use of pure direct democracy by the majority to elect a demagogue who, rather than work for the benefit of all citizens, set out to either harm those in the minority or work only for those of the upper echelon or population centers; the Electoral College mechanism present in the indirect United States presidential election system is a safeguard due to concerns of faithless electors, was deliberately created as a safety measure not only to prevent such a scenario, but to prevent the use of democracy to overthrow democracy for an authoritarian, dictatorial or other system of oppressive government.
As articulated by Hamilton, one reason the Electoral College was created was so "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man, not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications". The scenarios in which tyranny perception occurs are specific, involving a sort of distortion of democracy preconditions: Centralization excess: when the centralized power of a federation make a decision that should be local, breaking with the commitment to the subsidiarity principle. Typical solutions, in this condition, are concurrent supermajority rules. Abandonment of rationality: when, as Tocqueville remembered, a decision "which bases its claim to rule upon numbers, not upon rightness or excellence"; the use of public consultation, technical consulting bodies, other similar mechanisms help to improve rationality of decisions before voting on them. Judicial review is the typical way after the vote. In both cases, in a context of a nation, constitutional limits on the powers of a legislative body, the introduction of a Bill of Rights have been used to counter the problem.
A separation of powers may be implemented to prevent the problem from happening internally in a government. A term used in Classical and Hellenistic Greece for oppressive popular rule was ochlocracy. Tyranny meant rule by one man whether undesirable or not. While James Madison referred to the same idea as "the violence of majority faction" in The Federalist Papers, for example Federalist 10, the phrase "tyranny of the majority" was used by John Adams in 1788, it was used by Edmund Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France, where he said that "The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny." It was further popularised by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. The Federalist Papers and the phrase is used at least once in the first sequel to Human, All Too Human. Ayn Rand wrote that individual rights are not subject to a public vote, that the political function of rights is to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and "the smallest minority on earth is the individual". In Herbert Marcuse's 1965 essay "Repressive Tolerance", he said "tolerance is extended to policies and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery" and that "this sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested".
In 1994, legal scholar Lani Guinier used the phrase as the title for a collection of law review articles. Yale political theorist Robert A. Dahl argues that the tyranny of the majority is a spurious dilemma: Critic: Are you trying to say that majority tyranny is an illusion? If so, going to be small comfort to a minority whose fundamental rights are trampled on by an abusive majority. I think you need to consider two possibilities. Advocate: Let's take up the first; the issue is sometimes presented as a paradox. If a majority is not entitled to do so it is thereby deprived of its rights; the paradox is supposed to show. But the dilemma seems to be spurious. Of course a majority might have the strength to deprive a minority of its political rights; the question is whether a majority may rightly use its primary political rights to deprive a minority of its primary political rights. The answer is no. To put it another way, logically it can't be true that the members of an association ought to govern themselves by the democratic process, at the same time a majority of the association may properly strip a minority of its primary political rights.
For, by doing so the majority would deny the minority the rights necessary to the democratic process. In effect therefore the majority would affirm that the association ought not to govern itself by the democratic process, they can't have it both ways. Critic: Your argument may be logical, but majorities aren't always logical. They may yet violate its principles. Worse, they may not believe in democracy and yet they may cynically use the democratic process to destroy democracy. Without some limits, both moral and constitutional, the democratic process becomes self-contradictory
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
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Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves; these representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association. "Rule of the majority" is sometimes referred to as democracy. Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes; the uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in democracy, which makes all forces struggle for the realization of their interests, being the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules.
Western democracy, as distinct from that which existed in pre-modern societies, is considered to have originated in city-states such as Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various schemes and degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed before the form disappeared in the West at the beginning of late antiquity. The English word dates back to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents. According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. Todd Landman draws our attention to the fact that democracy and human rights are two different concepts and that "there must be greater specificity in the conceptualisation and operationalization of democracy and human rights"; the term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy, meaning "rule of an elite".
While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class, until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy; these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.
No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimised rights and liberties which are protected by a constitution. Other uses of "democracy" include that of direct democracy. One theory holds that democracy requires three fundamental principles: upward control, political equality, social norms by which individuals and institutions only consider acceptable acts that reflect the first two principles of upward control and political equality; the term "democracy" is sometimes used as shorthand for liberal democracy, a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism.
Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal and political freedom unless the institutions of civil society are present. In some countries, notably in the United Kingdom which originated the Westminster system, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty, while maintaining judicial independence. In the United States, separation of powers is cited as a central attribute. In India, parliamentary sovereignty is subject to the Constitution of India which includes judicial review. Though the term "democracy" is used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organisations. Majority rule is listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority" in the absence of legal protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an "ideal" representative democracy is competitive elections that are substantively and procedurally "fair," i.e. just and equitable