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poli201_lec9(public opinion)

poli201_lec9(public opinion) - POLI 201 Chapter 9 Professor...

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POLI 201 / Chapter 9 Professor Finocchiaro 1 CHAPTER 9 Public Opinion POLI 201: American National Government America’s Tyrannical Majority Observing America in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville warned of the potential for the “tyranny of the majority.” “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America … In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.” --Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America Tocqueville even argued that, in America, the power of the majority was greater than that of a King: “The authority of a king is physical and controls the actions of men without subduing their will. But the majority possesses a power that is physical and moral at the same time, which acts upon the will as much as upon the actions and represses not only all contest, but all controversy.”
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