Disobedience of this sort – by a minority who feel very strongly about an issue, against a decision taken by a majority to whom the matter is of no great importance – can help to mitigate one of the stock weaknesses of democratic theory. It has long been recognized that there is a danger of injustice in democracy because the democratic system takes no account of the intensity with which views are held, so that a majority which does not care

very much about an issue can out-vote a minority for which the issue is of vital concern. By civil disobedience the minority can demonstrate the intensity of its feelings to the majority. If the majority did in fact make its decision through short-sightedness, and not because the hardship to the minority is an unavoidable evil, justified by a far greater good on the whole, it will have the opportunity of altering its decision. Where there is reason to believe that the majority does not feel strongly about a matter, disobedience causing a certain amount of inconvenience can be justified in order to test the strength of feeling of the majority. If minor inconvenience will cause the majority to alter its decision, this indicates that the original decision was one of those in which a largely apathetic majority imposes its will on a deeply concerned minority. Since, in theory, weighting votes according to intensity of feeling would give rise to a still fairer compromise than is achieved by giving everyone an equal vote, to cause such inconvenience to the majority would be compatible with fair compromise. If the majority makes it clear, however, that it is prepared to put up with inconvenience, it must be assumed that it is not, after all, apathetic about the issue.