The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The Tyrany of the Minority

In a recent interview, Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the most thoughtful and qualified candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, used the phrase, "the tyranny of the minority," as a description of our current era. I'll get to that in a moment, but first, a brief comment on Ramaswamy.

Unlike those candidates with political backgrounds in both parties, Vivek comes from the private sector, has already accomplished much in his young life, and speaks his mind without regard for focus groups or polling. That's unusually refreshing, even if you don't agree with every view he expresses. 

Compare Vivek to the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, who is continually isolated from questioning, and due to serious and growing cognitive disability, cannot string three coherent sentences together without a teleprompter. Or compare Vivek to a 'waiting-in-the-wings' backup like Gov. Gavin Newsom, a smarmy politician who says all the right things to galvanize his base , but has accomplished little to make CA a better place to live.

Sadly, Ramaswamy has little chance to win the presidential nomination, and that's a real shame, but his insight into the current state of our country and what we have to do to correct our trajectory is worth considering. But back to the "tyranny of the minority."

Since our era is characterized by both the tyranny of the minority and the rise of A.I., I decided to see what ChatGPT has to say on the subject. Here's an unedited response from the generative, pre-trained transformer:

The tyranny of the minority refers to a situation in which a small group of individuals exert a disproportionate amount of influence or control over a larger population. This concept can be observed in both social and political contexts, where a minority holds significant power, often at the expense of the majority's interests or preferences.

In modern political discourse, the tyranny of the minority manifests itself in various ways. One example is the use of filibustering or obstructionist tactics by a minority party or group to block or delay legislative action. By leveraging their power in this manner, they can impede the majority's agenda, resulting in political gridlock and stalling necessary reforms.

Another manifestation of the tyranny of the minority is the influence of special interest groups. These groups, representing a narrow set of interests, often exert significant control over policymakers through their financial resources or lobbying activities. Consequently, policies and legislation may be biased in favor of these minority interests, neglecting the broader concerns and needs of the majority.

Furthermore, social media platforms have provided a platform for vocal minority groups to amplify their voices and sway public opinion. Through online mobilization, these individuals can exert pressure on decision-makers, demanding policy changes that align with their beliefs, sometimes disproportionately overshadowing the will of the majority.

The tyranny of the minority violates the principles of democratic governance that aim to ensure the representation and protection of the majority. It undermines the idea that policy decisions should be guided by the collective will and best interests of the majority population. Instead, it grants undue influence to smaller groups that may not reflect the broader diversity of perspectives and needs within society.

Not a bad description, actually. In this era, the tyranny of the minority is indeed exemplified by "the influence of special interest groups ... representing a narrow set of interests, [who] often exert significant control over policymakers through their financial resources or lobbying activities." Because they are able to make the most noise, many of these special interest groups work in concert with a propaganda media to influence everything from the meaning of specific words, to the structure of language, to the veracity of scientific findings, to what we should and shouldn't eat, to which historical figures should effectively be erased from public consciousness, to how we enforce the law, to what is culturally acceptable behavior, to what speech is allowed and what speech is censored. 

There are, of course, minority groups on both sides of the political spectrum (think: anti-abortion fanatics on the right or climate change catastrophists on the left) that want their world view to be imposed on the rest of us. But only activist groups on one the side of the political spectrum get the support of major propaganda media outlets (e.g., the NYT, WaPo, LAT, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC ... ). In addition, it seems that only activists on the left gain support among agencies within the deep state and get help spreading their message widely within most social media and many "enlightened" corporations and agencies. This allows them to achieve "communication range," i.e., their message spreads widely and gains a sense of validity that is not supported by its actual content or by any objective consideration of the facts.

In many cases, the tyranny espoused by one activist group comes into direct conflict with the tyranny espoused by another, leading to comical and often irrational results. During the height of Covid hysteria in 2020 (and yes, the tyranny of a minority comprised of the medical establishment, deep state agencies, pliable politicians, and a complicit mainstream and social media imposed unscientific policies that lead to broader societal hysteria), one activist group condemned a large gathering of bikers in Sturgis, SD suggesting it was a "super-spreader" event. Another activist minority argued that the BLM protests and riots during the same time-period would not become super-spreader events. All you could do was shake your head and smile.

It is true that our country was founded as a constitutional republic because the founders recognized the danger of "a tyranny of the majority." At that time in history and for two centuries thereafter, the minority did not have a megaphone, and as a consequence, the majority could and sometimes did streamroll the minority. But today, the minority has a megaphone that is out of all proportion to their positions and their moral claims, giving them disproportional influence that is not in the interest of a civil society or our country as a whole.


People are beginning to notice the tyranny discussed in this post. 

In an open letter published in the San Francisco Chronicle, John ChaChas, a local business leader writes:

San Francisco now suffers from a “tyranny of the minority” —behavior and actions of the few that jeopardize the livelihood of the many. The ramifications of COVID policies advising people to abandon their offices are only beginning to be understood. Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city’s streets. Such abject disregard for civilized conduct makes San Francisco unlivable for its residents, unsafe for our employees, and unwelcoming to visitors from around the world. 

The blue governance model that gives far too much weight to minority positions espoused by relatively small activist groups is effectively destroying what was once one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. This has to be stopped.