Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority

From Tocqueville and the Tyranny of the Majority.

Tocqueville argues that there is little toleration of difference of opinion in democratic societies.

“I know of no country in which, speaking generally, there is less independence of mind and true freedom of discussion than in America […] As long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, everyone is silent, and the friends as well as the opponents of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety “

““The sovereign can no longer say, “You shall think as I do on pain of death”: but he says, “You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien along your people. You may retain your civil rights, buy they will be useless to you, for you will never be chosen by your fellow-citizens, if you solicit their suffrages; and they will affect to scorn you, if you solicit their esteem. You will remain among men, but you like an impure being; and those who are mostly persuaded of your innocence will abandon you too, lest they should be shunned in their turn.”

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