Democracy is complicated. Many take it as obviously good while others warn of its dangers. Is it the will of the people, we ask, or a tyranny of the majority? In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg examines democracy’s evolution across the ages.
From ancient Athens to Colonial America, democracy’s successes have reflected people’s desire to live free of the absolute and arbitrary power of kings and tyrants. However, a rule of the majority can become its own brand of oppressive tyranny.
A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the political dream, but it only works when a constitution protects the rights of individuals against the whims and excesses of a majority. With proper limits, democracy delivers a world without tyranny.