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Video essay explaining Why the Framers of the Constitution Feared Democracy
A couple days ago, I watched Barack Obama's speech that he delivered at the Democratic National Convention. He spoke a fair amount about the constitution and about the principle of democracy and it got me thinking that most people, even educated people, don’t understand what exactly the framers of the constitution were trying to achieve and they don’t understand the form of government that the constitution codified.
The simply incorrect conception that people have about the American form of government is that they think the foundational principle of it is democracy. The reality is that the framers of the constitution were deeply afraid of a democracy and put in a tremendous amount of thought into how to tame it and guard against its ill effects. Now, The American system of government undoubtedly has democratic features, but they were only adopted begrudgingly and after the founders of the country were able to agree on a rather ingenious method for minimizing the negative effects of it and only because the alternative types of government such a monarchy or an oligarchy are, as the framers witnesses firsthand so prone to devolving into oppressive tyranny and despotism. In other words -- and this is something I spoke about a recent video on how to think about political issues in a non-ideological way -- whatever elements of democracy we do have in the united states is only due to the recognition that it is a less miserable state of affairs than the alternatives.
The main weakness inherent in democracy is the tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions.
Our society and politics appear to be on the edge of a precipice. If we are to avoid violence, the only tools we have at our disposal are dialogue and conversation.