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According to Thoreau, what is the flaw in majority rule?

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althia-daly | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2009 at 8:59 AM via web

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According to Thoreau, what is the flaw in majority rule?

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dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM (Answer #1)

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According to Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience”, the flaw in majority rule is just that – the government is ruled by the majority and the minority is left out.  Thoreau states,

     “But government in which the majority rule in all cases can not  be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.”

 

By this, he means that it does not serve all people if it is only one group, no matter how large a group, who decides what is best for all.  Thoreau continues the essay by saying that people should be allowed to govern themselves and should know the difference between right and wrong and adhere to that without being overruled by the “majority”.

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