28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 20 – Efficiency and Dispatch Require Governments to Operate to the Will of the Majority…

Principle 20

“Efficiency and Dispatch Require Governments to Operate to the Will of the Majority, but Constitutional Provisions Must be Made to Protect the Rights of the Minority”

by: Charity Angel

One of the serious mistakes Of the Articles of Confederation was the requirement that all states must approve in order for any changes to be made. During the Revolutionary War, there were several vital changes that were suggested, but each time a single state was able to prevent that needed change.

Delaying action like this in an emergency can be disastrous. Unanimity is ideal, but majority rule is a necessity. John Locke explained it this way,”When any number of men have consented to make one community or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude (bind) the rest. It being one body it is necessary the body should move that way whiter the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority, or else it is impossible it should act ot continue one body…And thus, every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded (bound) by it.”

Nevertheless, the American Founders had suffered enough from the tyrannical conduct of Parliment to feel highly sensitive to the rights of minorities. Thomas Jefferson referred to this in his inaugural address on March 4, 1801 when he said: “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

Once upon a time, we were all minorities in this nation. We are literally a nation of minorities. It is the new-comers that feel that they are not yet first-class citizens. The United States has built a reputation of being more generous and helpful to newcomers than any other nation. It is a reputation worth preserving.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen's Book 'The 5000 Year Leap' and are brought to you by Fragrant Smoke.


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