In many historical as well as legal discussions, one simple yet complex question that is most likely to present itself would be whether a conflict exists between the principle of rule of law and that of the majority rule. Many intellectuals seem to struggle with the same puzzle with each side trying to prove a point to the other. There seem to exist more conflicts than common ground among these two principles. In more ways than one, the two principles seem to defer in matters administration as well as applicability.
The principle of the majority rule would have a substantive description in democracies. It can be likened to democracies since the principle takes into consideration the will of the majority (Massuh, 67). The supreme power seems to rest squarely on the people and they are allowed to exercise the power either directly or through the use of representatives. In the majority rule principle, the majority vote’s principle applies. Whoever garners more votes is assumed to have won since the people are presumed to have spoken and made their decision known. The principle also bears the aspect of equality in terms of privileges and rights.
On a careful analysis one would realize that the rule of law is different from the majority rule. The principle of rule of law spells out that laws are the backbone of any society and it is such laws that should be used to govern any civilized and organized society. It further dictates that each and every citizen is subject to the laws of the land, hence it is the bar under which all governing issues are placed. The lack of the rule of law may only be tolerable in authoritarian communities. Democracies may also lack the rule of law under certain circumstances.
The conflict that exists between the two principles is based on the fact that some of the facts may be accepted by the majority but rejected in law. That would necessarily mean that laws are superior and dictate what happens even in the democratic states (Kubiak, 58). The majority rule tries to protect the minorities while the rule of law states that all people are the same irrespective of the fact whether they are in the minority or in the majority. In democracies there exists comprehensive structures to ensure that the goals of the community are met . There exist some good examples in history to try and explain how the rule of law conflicts with the majority rule.
The women’s productive health rights is one of the facts that can be used to explain the conflicts between majority rule and the rule of law. Most people supported the right, hence it had the support of the majority rule, but the rule of law dictated that the right had flopped. The second case is the issue of same sex marriages. Many caused an uproar over the marriages and the rule of law stated that the issue of same sex would not be accepted into law although many felt that it needed to be legalized.
The next question that would be contentious in many social circles is one of liberty versus patriotism. Many feel that the two issues seem to be overlapping in their contexts as well as usage. That usually results in conflicts between the two concepts. Patriotism is a common term and can be described as the love for one’s country or one’s homeland. A patriot is said to have some sense of pride as well as loyalty to his place of origin. A patriot would do all it takes to protect his homeland from harm and seeks the well being of his people (Fuchs 179). Liberty on the other hand would be described as the free will that an individual has to do as they wish. That means the individual is free from any form of control or external rule as well as freedom from any interferences. Liberty stands for the freedom that the person enjoys.
Many have argued that in essence patriotism kills liberty. That would be clearly explained by the fact that even a free citizen would be enslaved by patriotism. A free citizen would opt to give up his freedoms for the sake of his motherland. It is a common for people to opt to remain under subjective regimes just in the name of loving their country. Athletes are a viable example, as well as civil activists. The activists give up the freedoms that they enjoy as citizens just for the sake of their country. Some are held in police holdings since they protest the wrongs in the society.
On the other hand, some would rather sit back and watch as their liberties are taken away. They are not troubled about their well being since patriotism to them is a strange and one that does not deserve their sacrifice. But some sacrifice a lot for the sake of patriotism hence the notion oversteps its boundaries (Fuchs 178). Soldiers give up their freedom for the sake of their country. They are patriotic at the expense of their liberties. That would be described by some as sycophancy.
Fuchs, Konrad. “Love of the Fatherland and Liberty. German Patriotism from 1750–1850.” Philosophy and History (1983): 178-179. Print.
Kubiak, Hieronim. Democracy and the Individual Will. Ed Democracy: A Delicate Balance and Universality Geneva: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (1998). Print
Massuh, Victor. Democracy: A Delicate Balance and Universality. Ed Democracy: A Delicate Balance and Universality Geneva: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (1998). Print