Last modified on May 28, 2021, at 14:18


Majoritarianism is the philosophy that political decisions should be primarily (almost purely) based on the majority's sentiments.[1] It is the opposite of pluralism.

"No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time"
James Madison – Federalist 10

In the history textbook, The Challenge of Democracy, Janda, Berry and Goldman describes the system as "[one that] interprets 'government by the people' to mean government by the majority of the people ... Usually, we think of elections only as mechanisms for choosing among candidates for public office. Majoritarian theorists also seem them as a means for deciding government policies."[2]

The system was critiqued by James Madison - writing as Publius with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay - in Federalist 10.[3]

Majoritarianism can often degenerate into mobocracy and deprivation of individual rights. As an example, since it is currently trendy and faddish to support same-sex "marriage," Christian social conservatives who disagree with the majority's view of morality can face government persecution.


  1. Majoritarianism (English). Merriam Webster (1942). Retrieved on Apr 26 2009.
  2. Janda, Kenneth; Jeffrey Berry, Jerry Goldman (2002). "Majoritarian or Pluralist Democracy?", in Jean L. Woy: The Challenge of Democracy (text), 7th (in English), Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 061825935X. 
  3. James Madison (Nov 27 1787). Federalist 10: The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection. Retrieved on Apr 26 2009.

See also