The majority rule does not defend individual rights. Majority rule is used in various democratic societies where political decisions are made by attaining majority support. This majority support is believed to protect the needs and rights of all people; however, this is not the case. One reason why majority rule does not defend individual rights is that the majority might be against the protection of individual rights, especially the rights of the minority. In many cases, the majority mostly choose laws or systems that protect them at the expense of the minorities. This then undermines the rights of the minorities. Instances of the majority using their rule to undermine the rights of the minorities can be seen in various countries, including the United States. In the US, the majority used their rule to create and support racial systems. These systems affected crucial aspects of the lives of the racial minorities, including employment, housing, credit, and immigration. As a result, minority races such as African Americans experienced a declining quality of life (Pager & Shepherd, 2008). Cases of discrimination by the majority have also been reported in South Africa. In South Africa, the Colored and Indian citizens and representatives are reporting cases of discrimination in access to opportunities. This discrimination is in favor of the Black majority (Murray & Simeon, 2007.

Majority rule also does not defend individual rights since, in many cases, a small elite minority influences policy changes and the protection of rights. The elite minority negotiate with each other to come up with a policy that favors them at the expense of the majority. They are able to influence policy due to the low transaction costs between the elite groups. In order to make changes, the majority are required to participate in long and exhausting political processes. These processes include voting, campaigning, and lobbying. The long political processes may also be lengthened further when there is a lack of consensus and agreement. Policy proposals may have to be negotiated in order for them to obtain support from the majority of the population. The elite minority, however, does not have to engage in a long process in order to influence policy. This small group can meet up and discuss policy issues and then implement changes. Meetings between the elites are inexpensive and easier to conduct as opposed to long political processes such as voting (Holcombe, 2018). 

Arguments that support the statement that a majority rule defends individual rights mostly focus on the political power that the majority have and their ability to influence political decisions in their favor. Based on these arguments, the majority can use the ballot or any other democratic tool to protect their rights. These arguments are weak since they overstate the impact of the democratic power the majority wields. The majority are rationally ignorant, making it hard for them to exercise their political power for their benefit. They lack the knowledge and information needed for them to make better political decisions. They also lack the desire to improve their knowledge on the best political actions to take. Additionally, the political process is deliberately complex, making it hard for the majority to make any impact. The laws are created in a way that makes it hard for the majority to have a good comprehension of the impact of their choices. The political processes are also created in a way that makes it easier for the minority elite to manipulate changes in their favor (Holcombe, 2018). 


Holcombe, R. G. (2018). Checks and balances: Enforcing constitutional     constraints. Economies6(4), 57.

Murray, C., & Simeon, R. (2007). Recognition without empowerment: Minorities in a democratic South Africa. International Journal of Constitutional Law5(4), 699-729.

Pager, D., & Shepherd, H. (2008). The sociology of discrimination: Racial discrimination in  employment, housing, credit, and consumer markets. Annual Review of Sociology34,     181-209.