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What is an Ochlocracy?

Ochlocracy is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. In English, the word mobocracy is sometimes used as a synonym. As a pejorative for majoritarianism, it's akin to the Latin phrase mobile vulgus meaning "the easily moveable crowd," from which the term "mob" originally derives.

What do you know about Ocholocracy? Try this quick quiz?

American Civics - FUN Trivia Quizzes powered by ABE1. As a term in civics it implies that there is no formal authority whatsoever, not even a commonly-accepted view of anarchism, and so disputes are raised, contended and closed by brute force - might makes right, but only in a very local and temporary way, as another mob or another mood might just as easily sway a decision. It is often associated with demagoguery and the rule of passion over reason. True or False?

2. In ancient Greek political thought ochlocracy was considered as one of the three "bad" forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy and ochlocracy) as opposed to the three "good" forms of government. What were the three "good" forms of government?

3. The threat of mob rule (not unlike the term tyranny of the majority) is often invoked [often rhetorically] against a democracy by those who oppose its majority decisions. They sometimes fear oppression of the needs or freedoms of minorities if democratic government is not efficiently restrained by protections given to individuals under the rule of law. Sometimes concerned that demagoguery may manipulate the mob and force popular currents of thought onto minority groups without respect for their or the individual's rights. What are some who wish to see more power assigned to called?

4. Historians often comment on mob rule as a factor in the rise of Rome and its maintenance, as the city of Rome itself was large [between 100,000 and 250,000 citizens] while the aristocracy and even military was very small by comparison to the citizenry. True or False?

5. During the French Revolution, the mobs in Paris played a similar function, but were more carefully manipulated by political leaders who sensed that they had the power to dispose of monarchy entirely. What kind of government was set up?

6. What are modern theories that bear some resemblance to mob rule and its mechanics?

7. If Roman guards could be swayed by mobs, it is obviously possible also to sway modern police even in a police state. What was the consequence of disobedience for Roman guards?

8. Whether by intent or by circumstance, non-violent well-organized assemblies often degrade into unruly mobs. Published treatises on civil disobedience theory almost always encourage practitioners to establish order within their ranks, but civil disobedience groups often face difficulty in controlling those they recruit. True or False?

9. What group is the term "mob" used to describe?

10. In certain places with a dubious record of representative democracy, physical control of polling stations is a form of mob rule that determines who wins: whoever can bring out more supporters to keep the opposing political party out, wins. What is the importance of political privacy?

 


 

Answers

1. True

2. monarchy, aristocracy and democracy

3. ruling minority

4. True

5. representative democracy (which in turn fell to Napoleon's model of semi-constitutional monarchy).

6. civil disobedience and satyagraha (Gandhi)

7. crucifixion

8. True

9. The term "mob" is also sometimes used to describe organized crime. Since it is relatively simple for the criminal element to exploit public strife, for example by looting, or grabbing power by means of fraud, there is some resonance in that "mob rule" can be described as having power held by those people who exploit or create mobs by leading them into violence.

10. When political privacy is often nonexistent it is this kind of condition where retribution against defectors is easy.

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