SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Majority Rules?
By Kate Smith


July 13, 2007
Friday PM

Samuel Bergeron wrote, "76% of us don't smoke; 24% do. I propose to model a smoking ordinance that represents the majority of us who don't smoke and eliminate smoking in all public places."

Alright! So, the majority must be right or, at least should rule? Oh, the fallacy in such egocentric thoughts.

May we shimmy on over to the thoughts of, "Democracy versus Republic" ["And to the Republic, for which it stands!"]:

Our military training manuals used to contain the correct definitions of Democracy and Republic. The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.


A government of the masses.
Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
Results in mobocracy.
Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
Results in demagoguism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.


Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.

Something to think about, I think, in light of the attitude expressed by Mr. Bergeron. Who favors and no doubt, is not alone, in the thought that the "Majority rules." Or at least, think should rule.

Being within the majority, certainly does not [necessarily] make you righteous. No more than it did of those in human history, who wished to stamp out others, who did not fit their egocentric, bigoted view points.


Kate Smith
Wrangell, Ak.

Received July 12, 2007 - Published July 13, 2007

About: "Alaskan Born Citizen"

Related Viewpoint:

letter Let's Start a Clean Air Initiative in Ketchikan By Samuel Bergeron - Ketchikan, AK

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