In LewRockwell.com, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains the tyranny of the majority, writing (abridged):
“Which is better — to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
— Rev. Mather Blyes (1706-1788)
Does it really matter if the instrument curtailing liberty is a monarch or a popularly elected legislature? This conundrum, along with the witty version of it put to a Boston crowd in 1775 by the little-known colonial-era preacher with the famous uncle — Cotton Mather, addresses the age-old question of whether liberty can survive in a democracy.
Blyes was a loyalist, who, along with about one-third of the American adult white male population in 1776, opposed the American Revolution and favored continued governance by Great Britain. He didn’t fight for the king or agitate against George Washington’s troops, he merely warned of the dangers of too much democracy.
Blyes feared a government of 3,000. Today, the feds employ close to 3 million. Thomas Jefferson warned that when the federal treasury becomes a federal trough, and the people recognize it as such, they would only send to Washington politicians — faithless to the Constitution — who promise to bring home the most cash.
And the majority will take whatever it wants from the minority that cherishes limited government, private property and personal liberty.
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