democracy implies that, the majority rules, what if the majorities are wrong, the minorities being right

There’s not much to say here other than “you’re absolutely right!” What you’ve identified is the chief problem with majority-rule democracy. One person can be right while ninety-nine are wrong. Whatever the popular mythos may claim, there is nothing magical about voting that ensures the right decision will be made.

It’s important to remember that voting the way we do it –assuming that you are an American, or from a country with a similar system –is nothing more than a compromise solution designed to give individual citizens a say in the way their government is run, while still giving some protection to the nation as a whole from the idle whims and sudden enthusiasms of the mob.

There are other solutions as well, each with its own weaknesses:

In a pure or direct democracy, the citizens make the laws themselves, with no elected officials between them and the process. This system has almost always ended in disaster, both because there is chaos and disorder inherent in trying to determine what are the laws and how they should be enforced, as well as because of the observation Plato made in The Republic, that those who love freedom the most are the most vulnerable to the charms of a charismatic tyrant. That’s the reason our system is a representative democracy rather than a pure or direct democracy. In theory, the elected officials stand between us and our worst mob impulses.

In a consensus democracy, officials are elected or laws enacted only when all people agree –thus eliminating the tyranny of the majority. However, it becomes impossibly difficult to reach consensus in groups of more than about 6 or 7 people, so this is unworkable for large-scale democracy.

In a winner takes all vote, such as the American presidential election, the majority makes the choice. However, even so, we have a system that requires (much) more than a majority for decisions that the Founding Fathers didn’t want taken lightly –such as amending the constitution.

In a proportional vote, such as the British Parliament or the American Democratic primaries, the minority is still represented in any given situation, by being given a percentage of representatives proportional to the size of the minority.

My own favorite system based on one proposed by a character in Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — I don’t know if it was original to him or not. In it, every ten people have the option to select a representative to represent them. Ten representatives can select a super representative, and so forth, up to the top of the system. However, nothing is done by vote. Each person is made a representative by the consensus of those he represents, and they may change their minds at any time. If a representative loses one of her constituents, she will need to find another immediately or lose her position. Thus, each representative fully represents all his constituents, not just the majority.  I don’t know that it’s ever been tried in real life, but it has its charms as an idea.

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