more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 19925

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 3. Alienating rights]

Full Idea

In a democracy no one transfers their natural right to another in such a way that they are not thereafter consulted, but rather to the majority of the whole society of which they are part.

Gist of Idea

In democracy we don't abandon our rights, but transfer them to the majority of us


Baruch de Spinoza (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [1670], 16.11)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Theological-Political Treatise', ed/tr. Israel,Jonathan [CUP 2007], p.202

A Reaction

At this time democracy means Athenian direct democracy. In representative democracy you are only consulted once every few years, and in between the government can ignore the people (as Rousseau pointed out).

Related Idea

Idea 7251 The English are actually slaves in between elections [Rousseau]