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Nineteenth century American politician John C. Calhoun was unashamedly pro-slavery. So it may seem strange that his 1850 text, intended to defend that practice, is so respected today and Calhoun's vision later helped civil rights activists create a fairer democratic system. Calhoun believed that people are naturally self-interested, and that 'majority rule' leads inevitably to abuse of power. He proposed the principle of the 'concurrent majority,' which allows minority groups to veto government legislation that worked against their interests. Calhoun believed that this way politics would become more consensual and protect the interests of minority groups—vital to a fair society.