The basis of a free society is not only democracy, but freedom from domination. Hierarchical structures seek to create a social unity through homogeneity. Hierarchy is based on domination with a social strata that can only make differences between individuals and groups antagonistic in a competition for supremacy. Diversity and autonomy are viewed as threats in such systems.
Autonomy and pluralism are inextricable principles of a free society. This means the embrace of diversity at every level, from the individual to community to culture. Without a system organized on the basis of respect for individual liberty, autonomy, and self-rule, a system of majority-rule is just as tyrannical as rule by a few.