Tyranny of the majority is a phrase describing scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a minority's interest as sometimes to be comparable in cruelty to "tyrannical" despots.
n., pl. -nies.
1. A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
2. The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
3. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly
a. Use of absolute power.
b. A tyrannical act.
5. Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.
Examples of tyranny of the majority being practiced.
It was said that Thailand's Thaksin bribed the poor to impose tyranny of the majority in order to rape his nations resources. This contributed to his downfall.
Tyranny of the majority was also used to oppress the blacks in the US before the civil rights movement. Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr's activism all minorities in the US now enjoy civil rights.
In Iran people of the Ba'hai faith are heavily persecuted due the non-existence or utter contempt towards religious freedom laws. The majority Persian population supports this being brainwashed by their leaders. Even in the Arab world enemies are labelled as Ba'hai as an insult of credibility.
In India Dalits are still heavily discriminated as nobody really cares about them or just despise them thinking of them as vermin. Most Dalits have abandoned Hinduism as it places them as vermin.
Remember that according to Bush Iraq is a democracy. In Iraq Sunni Muslims were and still are undergoing genocide supported by factions in the government in Shia majority or mixed areas. All men with the name Omar have either been killed, changed his name or has fled according to the Time magazine. Only Sunnis have the name Omar! In retaliation Sunnis have an ongoing campaign of bombing Shia civillians. The Mandaens and Christians suffer the worst of fates. There's an ongoing extermination by Sunnis and Shias campaign on these people in Iraq.
Let's not forget that Hitler had popular support of the German people. He used this support to try to totally wipe out Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, mental patients, the mentally disabled and the physically disabled. This became known as the Holocaust. Who's the most evil man ever, Hitler or Stalin?
Let's hope Malaysia will never degenerate into practicing tyranny of the majority. But I fear worse may come after hearing the violent rhetoric of the UMNO firebrands. What do you think?
~multum in parvo~