100 Comments

  • Charles Hammond Jr

    " In fact, you DON'T have the right to your own property."

    That sort of logic would reduce us all to slaves or serfs. It would also reduce the concept of privately owned property to the point of meaninglessness. The right to have our own property is important because without it we could not survive as individuals. If the food we have isn't our own… could we even justify eating it? If the crops a farmer farms aren't his, how can he justify selling them?

  • drgerke

    Absolutely not: the idea that private property should be abolished means that nobody has the right to put anyone else to work in literal or wage slavery. Nobody has ever survived as an individual; all production, all material activity, all work and all creativity is practiced socially – without others we do not exist. All food should be everybody's, all farms, all factories. There should be no exchange; exchange presupposes an unjustifiable appropriation of resources which belong to everyone.

  • Charles Hammond Jr

    So who would draft the rules in your new collectivist society?

    No collectivist society has either functioned properly or remained a collective society beyond a certain (very small) number of people.

    And how would you make sure that resources were truly equally allocated? This has been the downfall of the major Communist nations.

    And lastly… there's this whole 'human nature' problem you have to fix. You might agree with this but what about everyone else?

  • 19ACE93

    Being an advocate for personal freedom, rather than the silly Republican vs. Democrat split, it is not often that I find individuals who are diametrically opposed to my ideals. I always sort of assumed that we all wanted the same thing, but had different ideas how to get there. The debate between Charles Hammond Jr. and drgerke below challenges that assumption, however. It seems as if there exist completely contradictory interpretations of how life should be. Your free…isn't my free?

  • MrInfidelX

    And then that developer abandoned the project and the land was pretty much turned into a dump. I hope the majority is happy.

  • Zeph Smith

    There are some good points in this video, but it is also fatally flawed. To really understand our system as a constitutional republic, you have to recognize that there are several DEGREES of majority, and processes for assessing them. simple majority is 51%, but some actions require a 2/3 or 3/4 majory. According to the US Constitution, a SUFFICIENT majority, acting through the described processes, can amend anything in the Constitution (except equal represention in the Senate for all states).

  • Zeph Smith

    He would have been more honest to say "should a 51% simple majority, or a purely local majority, decide everything?" Answer: no, federal and state constitutions limit what a simple majority can do. However a 2/3 or 3/4 majority on the national level can constitutionally change almost anything about the constitution (and the limits is imposes on local laws). The founders wisely gave freedom to SUFFICIENT national majorities to make any decision while protecting us from simple majority rule.

  • Zeph Smith

    I think you will find that many people left and right oppose using eminent domain to transfer properties from one private entity to another. This is more about the influence of big economic entities on the interpretation of the constitution, and their ability to change the game without needing super-majorities as spelled out in the Constitution. The Supreme Court sometimes upsets liberals, sometimes upsets conservatives, but rarely upsets big business. Left vs Right keeps big money in charge.

  • Zeph Smith

    Leonard – not all "property" originates from the same process. In the US, almost all land "titles" were created and defined solely by the government, using land stolen from others – the only "right" one has to that land is that the government said it was OK to appropriate it from others and then pass it to others. That particular type of "property right" derives entirely from government edict, period. In which case the government has some ability to specify what rights it creates from nothing

  • Zelnyair

    Well, actually, if you use a FPTP system (first past the post), or a variant of it, such as most countries, you actually are often NOT using majority rule- you're using minority rule- here is an example to show you why:

    Here's a theoretical election result-

    Party A- 40%
    Party B- 30%
    Party C- 20%
    Party D- 10%

    Who wins? Party A- they have the most votes (as a percentage). BUT. They actually have minority rule- 60% of people did not want them in charge and voted otherwise.

  • Ernest P

    why do you call the Constitution a democratic constitution when then word democratic or democracy is never mentioned in the constitution at all but the word republic is ?

  • Garegin

    majorities should not decide anything. the logical flaw of democracy is that people can choose on the choices of others. they shouldn't be. you can only make choices for yourself. any other choice is aggression, because it violates the choices of others.

  • brickman409

    This video isn't saying that 1% of the population should rule over the other 99%. It's saying that the majority should not be allowed to take away rights from the minority.

  • Charles Millington

    The word democracy isn't found in the constitution nor the declaration of independence. We are a republic, because democracy is synonymous with majority rule. Please tell me you don't teach English at Duke.

  • Johan Rangmar

    The US is a democracy. Yes you're a republic and the UK is a constitutional monarchy but they are both democracies. Simple way to prove my point: Do you get to vote on your officials in the US? If, yes: You're a democracy.

  • TruthNloV3

    I have to know: what camera is he looking at? It's definitely at the wrong angle. It doesn't seem like he's looking into the camera or intentionally looking in another direction. It just seems like he's looking in the wrong place. Very distracting.

  • Democracy/anarchy is minority gang/scum rule

     In democracy the rich, pay politicians to exploit the masses. Only small minority advocate primitive use of force and oppression-democracy/socialism.

    Civilized majority doesn't want oppressive socialism/democracy – doesn't vote. They like libertarians, want to be left alone, not invading/plundering other's lives.

    Especially nobody wants to end up like every democracy in history, with war. Most recent one, when socialist Hitler was democratically elected and destroyed half of the world.

  • Pasparal da Beira do Canal

    Secretly libertarians dislike democracy.  And the idea of economic democracy gives them shivers.  Keep that in mind while watching this video.

  • gary morrison

    First of all we must accept the wisdom of the market to displace the wickedness of our traditional belief in the existence of society.The best way to preserve this free market utopia is to allow only those preferences of the individual that are on offer in the market place at a price. When the environment can no longer sustain growth or support the reproduction of our species then these crisis will come to the notice of entrepreneurs as a business opportunity. There is speculation that world wide famine is the number one growth area for investment in the coming years. Smart planning for this scenario should consider developing methods of social control that prevent mass suicide as it stands to reason an abrupt depletion of human capital could hurt the market.

  • Monsuco

    Democracy is ultimately just one of many checks on government power. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of its citizens by maintaining the rule of law. Since government has a monopoly on force, democracy's function is to give citizens yet another way to make sure the government itself is obeying the law and respecting the people.

    America's Bill of Rights is one of the most undemocratic documents in the world. It spells out things which no amount of majority voting can override. The very existence of a Constitution is inherently undemocratic. Simply electing a dictator for a few years or passing all laws via ballot initiative and referendum would be far more democratic than what we currently have. Apart from that, the existence of a Senate that isn't apportioned based on population (not to mention the filibuster rule), the existence of courts with Judges who serve life terms, a common law legal system that relies upon precedent rather than momentary whims, and the existence of federalism all end up thwarting the will of the majority.

    Yet this is necessary. If you want to see pure democracy in action, watch a lynch mob. There's no regard for rights, law or due process in a lynch mob yet a lynch mob is remarkably effective at ensuring the will of the majority of its membership is implemented.

  • John Doe

    In the cases of freedom of speech, religion, and press, what about hate speech, human sacrifice, and tabloids? None of these are good for the well being of the people, but all can be put under these rights. Right now, the government has to deal with so many rights, it can't go anywhere without stepping on someone. And the people have so many laws that they can't get to anywhere without hitting a road block. It would make sense instead of keeping a law until a counter bill is proposed, there should be a reformatting of 10 year old laws. This way, if a law is ineffective, it can be pitched. And if it is effective, it can be endorsed. As for rights, some rights are more important than other, no? Life is more important than religion. So human sacrifice is against people's rights. With a hierarchy of rights, the judicial system would be able to make decisions on the grounds of protecting key rights. Finally, the government should also be able to take actions that benefit key freedom over lesser freedom. This will allow it to act efficiently towards prosperity, freedom, and security.

  • Troy York

    Ruling elites in a desperate stage to preserve their rule and will twist and bend constitution and the courts. They are a danger to democratic majority rule

  • Marc Blaydoe

    And this is why the United States is more properly called a Constitutional REPUBLIC. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

  • ECA

    Idk but this bothers me so much.

    America isn't a Democracy, it's a Republic in a true Democracy, there is no government, just the -ehhm people voting on things and the majority wins

  • hiphopsimile101

    Eminent domain sucks in many cases. I'm an Urban Planner and I know that many people have been screwed out of their property. 

  • Thodor1s

    "Democracy and Majority rule are not synonyms"

    As a Greek, let me correct you: Democracy, or Δημοκρατία, as we say, comes from two words. Δήμος (Demos) (the many) and Κράτος (Kratos) (to rule). The fist time the world Demorcracy is documented is as follows: We are not an Oligarchy (ruled by the "Ολίγοι" or the few) but a Democracy, for we dont allow the few to speak for the many, and the many to act on the wishes of the few.

    Majority rule, is the ESSENSE OF DEMOCRACY. No constitution, no written law, guarantees the rights of man. It is the people who must realize their importance and once they do, only then, and only under a rulling majority, the rights are respected, and the laws enforced.

    Anything else, is NOT a democracy, its an Oligarchy. When it is possible to elect a president with 27% of the votes, and this president can basically act as he wishes without the trust of gongress, and when your leaders are sold out because they have to seek funding from companies, and not the state, I am afraid you dont have the right to use the word democracy anymore…

    You're an Oligarchy.

  • alexia armand

    Just to come back on the comment made at 0:52 – French principles : "freedom ends where other's freedom is jeopardized". Like if you publish something explicitly discriminatory which offend people (like the video "the innocence of Islam") and advocates violence/hatred , what you have published is censored/ you are punished by the law. I am French and I agree with this principle. I don't feel the state is taking away my freedom, and it doesn't mean we aren't a democracy. 

  • Alex One

    Direct democracy is when the people vote for everything (ancient Athens) There are too many people now to do this under the conditions we have at the moment. 

    Representative democracy is when people elect others to vote for them (Roman Republic, USA).

    Majority rule is when people can decide everything, even if it is illegal. An innocent man can be hung without trial if a majority of the people decides on it, even if it is illegal. A woman can lose her house because a majority of the people making decisions decides on it, even if it is illegal. 

    Since we are a republic, or a constitutional democracy, we cannot vote for things that violate the Constitution. For example, we can't vote to ban guns or freedom of speech even if a majority thinks it is a good idea at the time. 

  • Larry Keen

    The US is not a democracy.  It is a republic.  A republic is rule by law.  It is the law or  constitution which protects rights.   A democratic system or rule by the people does not protect you from tyranny of the majority a republic, rule by law, does.

  • Mr.Amazing

    Democracy is the one flaw of the Constitution. Democracy will unavoidably result in mob rule. It is naive to separate "domains of public decision" and "domains of law decision". Either you have full public decision or full law decision. In a democratic system, the majority will down the line rule over what they are theoretically not supposed to rule over.

  • ReneeDaphne

    Fabulous presentation and I sincerely appreciated everything…right up to Prof Munger's pronouncement of "essential part of the US Constitution and our democracy" at 4:17 in the video. Democracy is exactly what we don't want AND don't have. We want a democratic process within constitutional republic (that rule of law thing, not majority rule). Beside that…agree with everything and the presentation was very digestible!

  • Julian Nederhoff

    the majority have little rights these days, minoritys seem to have more rights and privilages in europe at least.

    the majority of people want change, and they hate the fact that minoritys are coming in a raping people and distroying there countrys, the majority sould rule themselfs, individuals have rights too, but which is more important the minority or the majority?

    nations sould have a right to self determination, which in the best case is majority rule not ruled by an elite like we have today.

  • TheVoidReturnsNull

    Apparently democratic rule, as defined here being limited by a constitution which outlines particular protections for individuals, is justified by the existence of the constitution which limits its powers in given ways. But I'm seeing a much deeper problem than this… isn't the constitution itself decided on by a simple majority rule? What protections are there for individuals who don't agree to it? How will their property and livelihoods (and that of their children, who aren't even around to be consulted) be respected and protected when they refuse to consent to the ratification or rule of this constitution? What or who is protecting individual interests against the majority when the majority decides they want the constitution in the first place? The entire constitution and thus the entire democratic nation can be rendered invalid and unjust from the start if the means to start it were an unjust majority ruling.

  • Andrew Parke

    Another problem is that the average voter can't be trusted to vote on certain issues that are above his head. Voters should only be allowed to vote on issues with which they are adequately acquainted. For example, we can't have religious fundamentalists voting on whether to teach Creationism or Evolution in public schools, because they don't know any better.

  • Team Cap

    To paraphrase Mel Gibson's character in the movie "The Patriot":  Why should I trade one tyrant 3.000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away?

  • Seth Apex

    Democracy is a system in which two wolves and a sheep vote on what they'll have for dinner. Need any proof of this?
    The government holds a gun to your head every year and tells you to give them a large portion of the wealth you've earned. they take that money and use it to line the pockets of the clowns who promise enough people he will give them free stuff so that they will say he's in charge, and the bureaucrats who are least likely to help him even come close to keeping his promises. if you refuse to give them your wealth, they put you in a literal cage, if you resist being put in a cage you get shot.

  • MetraMan09

    How would you prevent a majority from getting what they want though? You basically have to trust that the majority will willingly suppress its own actions.

  • Living Infernus

    Would a majority of voting citizens of New London have chosen to demolish the house in question? As many comments here alluded to, the decision was made by elected legislators in a democratic republic – NOT a democracy. People in general would consider Kelo's right to her home instead of the city's quotas for tax revenue. Perhaps participants of a town hall meeting with representatives of both sides could have come up with a compromise/win-win. Democracy works.

  • City Guard

    No.

    For if you can control the majority, then nobody can challenge you. It’s mob rule.
    But if you control the mob, you’re fully in control of everything.

    And it takes one good lier and deceiver to get away with it, but once they’re in control, that’s it. Game over.

  • Dmitrii Gudin

    Imagine the referendum: "Should everyone immediately receive $100,000? Yes/no."

    The majority of people vote "Yes". Next day, the government defaults, and the economy collapses.

  • Dost Thou Even Logic Brethren?

    The majority of Nazis are still wrong.
    The majority of the Taliban are still wrong.
    When individual rights are subject to the majority rule, oppression ensues.

  • Aus Bare

    The biggest problem with all of these is a lack of information. Government pass laws with out explanation, old out dated laws are kept on the books with no review. Corruption is a problem. How do we fix this I do not know.

  • Christian Swensen

    A great example of majority rule is a lynching. The group is for it. The individual is against it.
    Sounds like democracy. Right?

  • LLO

    And the developer probably bribed the "majority" of government officials to get the decision in their favor. Tyranny and coruption always go hand in hand with too much money in the control of the government(s).

  • jeffery allen

    Would it make more sense for the minority to have more legal pull, and what sense is giving equal pull to unequal parts? No system is perfect but obviously the majority should have majority pull.

  • Liberty AboveAllElse

    Yeah Kelo was a disgrace. For those of you who don't know, All the conservative justices sided with Ms. Kelo. All the "liberal" (leftist) justices sided with the New London, CT city council.

  • Liberty AboveAllElse

    What we have now is tyranny of the minority. Affirmative action, oligarchs making laws to benefit themselves, the deep state fleecing us of our money and making laws/policies that protect their right to do so…
    Jefferson was right about the tree of liberty needing manure every once in a while….

  • Michael J. Long on the issues podcast

    I can relate with what this guy is saying on top of the fact that its true what he's saying, it's because have majerity rule, and a 2 party system inspite of that being illgal under the constitution that we have the problomes we have regarding majerity rule we libertarians who go out and vote ❎ for the libertarian party and its candidates are the ones that get oppressed by thoes that vote ❎ republican and democrats. Because the people that vote ❎ for them are in the majority. So there electing people who are emposeing force on the rest of us and they call it the callective I call it teranay.

  • Party Tomorrow

    I say that because it hurts the parent relationship and it hurts the kids mind boy or girl so they end up doing crazy acts

  • Party Tomorrow

    Very tragic I’m like don’t use anything else I mean there’s a bunch of men that need some type of advice

  • Thomas Peckoff

    In reality majority rarely wins in our democratic system in America!
    U think the majority wants our second amendment eliminated?
    No our government does so they can impose a dictatorship later on.

    Counting 330 million Americans in this country if the majority were against something u would think all streets everywhere would be cluttered.

    In reality, at least today the minority’s rule and it seems that he who yells the loudest gets what he wants.

    U think gays r a majority? Well they got marriage passed for all without being a majority.

    And can literally go on and on but I won’t

    So when someone says majority rules what the rest of us do is completely wrong and I don’t know what ur talking about!!!!

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