What is tyranny from the majority

Tyranny of the majority?

The political philosophers John Stuart Mill (1806 to 1873) and Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 to 1859) warned in their texts on democracy against the "tyranny of the majority" that can develop in democratic systems, namely when the majority vote is critical and minorities pass over.

Behind this is a problem that is much more complex than initially assumed. Democracy claims to hear all voices and to make a joint decision in a broad debate. The latter is taken by the majority and - for better or for worse - must be borne by everyone.

Eternal discussion

Compromise, cooperation or consensus, whatever comes out of the dialogue of all (including with the critics) should be constructive precisely because the democratic apparatus can be too easily paralyzed by constant discussion and backward-looking criticism.

Organized opinion leaders outside the municipal council, be it citizens' initiatives, associations or companies, are of particular importance. They formulate their own interests out of the citizenry, which apart from the elected citizen representatives are also legitimate.

The role of the citizen

The crux of political participation is: there is no "we" and "you" as long as no decision has been made and ideological zeal is activated. The role of the citizen in participation is not very clear and yet simple: being a citizen concerns everyone. Everyone is a "citizen", including entrepreneurs, city councils, citizens' initiatives, etc. Let us look at the representativeness of citizen participation, but this view is reversed. Those who participate here are on average more educated, politically ideologized, come from an environment in which time, money, family and work make it possible to get involved in participation politics.

Assured legitimacy

Does participation push into a tyranny of the educated bourgeoisie, the wealthy, the politicized? I mean: luckily not. Because there is a desire for a broad range and secured legitimacy.

Politics and administration are still forced to implement the majority vote. That is not necessarily a guarantee for political progress.