Quotes & selections

The tyranny of the majority – Paul Auster – Hand to mouth

Hand to mouth

Paul Auster

Paul Auster

«I turned off the machine, walked down the hall, and knocked on the door of the supervisor’s office. “There’s a mistake in the filmstrip”, I said. “America isn’t a democracy. It’s a republic. There’s a big difference”. He looked at me as if I had just informed him that I was Stalin’s grandson. “It’s for little children,” he said, “not college students. There’s no room to go into detail”.
It’s not a detail,” I answered, “It’s an important distinction. In a pure democracy, everyone votes on every issue. We elect representatives to do that for us. I’m not saying that’s bad. Pure democracy can be dangerous. The rights of minorities need to be protected, and that’s what a republic does for us. It’s all spelled out in The Federalist Papers. The government has to guard against the tyranny of the majority. Kids should know that».

Paul Auster
Hand to mouth

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