…A day in History Class…

“Freedom can also become a problem,” Professor Plummer said. “In a society of equals, the majority always rules. Just like a single all powerful ruler, a majority of equals has the potential for an abuse of power. It is the tyranny of the majority.”

Taylor wears large glasses. He raised his hand in class.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just don’t understand. If we live in a society of equals, and we view each other as equals, how could that lead to tyranny?”

“De Tocqueville once said ‘if freedom is lost in America, that will be due to the majority driving minorities to desperation. In other words, if you don’t agree with the majority, you are looked down upon. For instance, you could have thought Karl Marx was a genius in the 1950’s, but minority dissenters were thrown in jail by McCarthy.”

“But,” Stacey said raising her hand. “Isn’t that just people taking advantage of people’s fears?”

“People really thought they had something to fear,” the professor responded. “Americans thought it was their duty to get rid of communism. Does that help answer your question, Taylor?”

“Yeah,” Taylor said. “Kinda.”

“Are you saying,” Robert interjected. “That if people just sit idly be as bad things are going on in the government, then the government will take advantage of the people’s ignorance?”

“Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying.”


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