Intrinsic value cannot be confused to mean possessing value, as there are instances where a thing like equality can be a possession of value rather than a manifestation of intrinsic value. Civil disobedience can be supported to establish equality among people with different faiths, backgrounds, interests and status. The practice of equality by placing law in every aspect of life is a matter of intrinsic value that has a considerable extrinsic impact on society and people. If a given thing in life possesses intrinsic value then not only must that same thing possess it under all circumstances, but also anything exactly like it, must, under all circumstances, possess it providing equality. Or to put it in the corresponding negative form: It is impossible that of two exactly similar things one should possess it and the other not, or that one should possess it in one degree, and the other in a different one.” For it is obvious that there is a sense in which, when things are exactly like, they must be ‘intrinsically different’ and have different intrinsic properties because they are two. The divide of intrinsic difference and intrinsic value can be accomplished via a moral component. One such example of the resolution of difference and value is the movement known as Satyagraha (meaning to hold on firmly to truth.) MK Gandhi demonstrated how civil disobedience to a Raj brought about lasting influence in terms of non-violence as Law of our being. Non-violence concluded with civil disobedience and it brought together intrinsic value for extrinsic change, freedom from imperial domination. Satyagraha did not fully succeed because of its inability to remove factors outside its purview. Chief being the inability to form a government that could share power as equals.
Alternately, the term “the politicization of aesthetics” has been used as a term for an ideologically opposing synthesis, sometimes associated with the wherein art is ultimately subordinate to political life and thus a result of it, separate from it, but which is attempted to be incorporated for political use as theory relating to the consequential political nature of art. In Benjamin’s original formulation the politicization of aesthetics was treated conceptually as the polar opposite of the aestheticization of politics, the former treated as a kind of revolutionary praxis and the latter as fascism.
Alternatively, go to any politician’s website in the MODERN world.
Alexis de Tocqueville warned about the “tyranny of the majority” in a democracy. Republicanism is the guiding political philosophy of the United States. It has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding. It stresses liberty and inalienable individual rights as central values, making people sovereign as a whole, rejects monarchy, aristocracy and inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption. American republicanism was founded and first practiced by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. For them, according to one team of historians, “republicanism represented more than a particular form of government. It was a way of life, a core ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty, and a total rejection of aristocracy.” Republicanism formed the basis for the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Constitution (1787), the Bill of Rights, as well as the Gettysburg Address (1863).
Republicanism is a type of democracy, but if protected by a Bill of Rights, may be distinguished from other forms of democracy as a Bill of Rights asserts that each individual has inalienable rights that cannot be voted away by a majority of voters, unless the other type of democracies are also protected by a Bill of Rights. , and suggested the courts should try to reverse the efforts of the majority of terminating the rights of an unpopular minority. “Republicanism is derived from the”republic”, but the two words have different meanings. A “republic” is a form of government without a hereditary ruling class while “republicanism” refers to the values of the citizens in a republic.
When the founding fathers set up that government which derived its powers “from the consent of the governed,” they knew exactly what they’d been missing. As colonists they’d had their taxes and their foreign and domestic policies determined for them by a distant government in which they’d had no representation whatsoever. People who lived thousands of miles away made decisions for them without their input and without recourse to anything but eventual revolution and separation.
When the founding fathers conceived of the “consent of the governed,” they thought of the people as a whole, realizing that not every individual would or could approve of every act of government. Indeed, it is inconceivable to think of a government acting in such a way that each person in the nation agrees with each decision arrived at by their government. The reality is that even in a government wonderfully representative of its people, some decisions are made that some people will disagree with.
Was “consent of the governed” created with this problem in mind? Must government keep every citizen completely happy and in agreement with each law and regulation it promulgates?
Not according to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson envisioned the “consent of the governed” he wrote about not as individual consent, but as the consent of the people coming together to make their political decisions. Jefferson wrote “It must be acknowledged that the term ‘republic’ is of vague application in every language…Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say purely and simply it means a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican in proportion as it has its composition more or less of this ingredient of direct action of the citizens.” (To J. Taylor, 1816)
In another letter to F. von Humboldt in 1817, Jefferson called the first principle of republicanism the “majority law,” and considered a majority of one to be as binding upon the whole as an unanimous vote. “This law disregarded, no other remains but that of force, which ends necessarily in military despotism.”
For Jefferson this was a simple equation. A government of minority interests supports its own self-interest and inevitably oppresses the majority. No government at all–anarchy–leads inevitably to evil forces organizing oppressive regimes. Only a government by and of the majority has the capability of preserving the individual’s rights.
The sacredness of a one-vote majority for Jefferson was based on his understanding of the contentious nature of humanity. “An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing that never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.” (Letter to J. Taylor, 1798)
What then, of the rights of the minority? Jefferson was well aware that a majority rule could be oppressive if the equal rights of minorities were violated. In his first inaugural address, he said, “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” (1801)
But Jefferson relied on a polticially active, fair-minded majority to insist that individual rights of those they disagreed with be respected, if for nothing else, through their own self-interest. No other mechanism, no government or piece of paper can protect those rights. Power inevitably leads to corruption, so the power to protect the people’s rights must be invested in the people themselves. It thus becomes each citizen’s responsibility to look after his or her own rights and the rights of his neighbors.
But what about an apathetic or ignorant citizenry? How do we overcome the people not acting in their interests, or acting in a way we think foolish? Jefferson had an answer to this, too: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” (Letter to W. Jarvis, 1820)
Perhaps nothing is more important to an understanding of individual self-determination than the phrase, “consent of the governed.” Individuals continually confront others with different experiences or prejudices at odd with their own. In such an environment, a community must make its political decisions according to the will of the majority. It is that majority which, fairly instituted, constitutes the guarantor of individuals rights and the consent of the governed.