Sunday, April 06, 2008

Democracy vs. Liberty, in a Paragraph

Colin McGinn writes:
In order for democracy to be acceptable, it needs to be combined with legal protections for the rights of minorities (gays, atheists, et al), or else there will be a tyranny of majority rule. But these protections cannot be made subject to the will of the majority or they lose their point and force. So, they must stay in place even if the majority opposes them--which is undemocratic. Therefore, democracy is acceptable only if it is not absolute. A tolerable form of democracy cannot be consistently democratic. The problem is that democracy and individual rights are at odds with each other.
My own views about democracy and its insidious effect on liberty are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

(Thanks to Maverick Philosopher for the pointer.)