« 2016-06-10
Back to Home Page
2016-06-08 »

The majority and the minority
(permalink)

Published Thursday, June 09, 2016 @ 10:40 AM EDT
Jun 09 2016

A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.
-Antonin Scalia

A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority.
-Henry David Thoreau

All politics are based on the indifference of the majority.
-James Reston

As my father once explained to me, our 'rights' are only as strong as the democracy that protects them. Because we are a people's democracy here in America, as great as the people of this country can be, but also as fallible, we must stay ever vigilant in the face of any 'tyranny' of the majority, no matter the stated objective.
-George Takei

Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against 'society,' that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.
-Emma Goldman

Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is ignorant.
-John Simon

Democracy is an experiment, and the right of the majority to rule is no more inherent than the right of the minority to rule; and unless the majority represents sane, righteous, unselfish public sentiment, it has no inherent right.
-William Allen White

Every effort for progress, for enlightenment, for science, for religious, political, and economic liberty, emanates from the minority, and not from the mass.
-Emma Goldman

Henotheism is the view that there are other gods, but there is only one God who is to be worshipped. The Ten Commandments express a henotheistic view, as does the majority of the Hebrew Bible.
-Bart D. Ehrman

I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them. The remedy of the majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.
-H.L. Mencken

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes.
-James Madison

I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed gay Jew. I've never felt, automatically, a member of any majority.
-Barney Frank

If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.
-Barbara Jordan

If you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of yours: Nature did it.
-Charlotte Brontë

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

In economics, the majority is always wrong.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

In making the great experiment of governing people by consent rather than by coercion, it is not sufficient that the party in power should have a majority. It is just as necessary that the party in power should never outrage the minority.
-Walter Lippmann

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist.
-John Dalberg-Acton

It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
-G.H. Hardy

It is safe to wager that every public idea and every accepted convention is sheer foolishness, because it has suited the majority.
-Nicolas Chamfort

It takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority is never right until it does right.
-Henrik Ibsen

It taught me, at an early age, that being wrong can be dangerous, but being right, when society regards the majority's falsehood as truth, could be fatal.
-Thomas Szasz

Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief they demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief but assume that their own needs none.
-Herbert Spencer

Long ago I ceased to count heads. Truth is usually in the minority in this evil world.
-Charles H. Spurgeon

Machines have no political opinions, but they have profound political effects. They demand a strict regimentation of time, and, by abolishing the need for manual skill, have transformed the majority of the population from workers into laborers.
-W.H. Auden

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane.
-Ambrose Bierce

Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority.
-William Jennings Bryan

Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement.
-Fiorello LaGuardia

Schooling, which we engage in and which supposedly creates equal opportunities, has become the unique, never-before-attempted way of dividing the whole society into classes. Everybody knows at which level of his twelve or sixteen years of schooling he has dropped out, and in addition knows what price tag is attached to the higher schooling he has gotten. It's a history of degrading the majority of people.
-Ivan Illich

Shall we judge the country by the majority or by the minority? Certainly, by the minority. The mass are animal, in state of pupilage, and nearer the chimpanzee.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The country was founded on the principle that the primary role of government is to protect property from the majority, and so it remains.
-Noam Chomsky

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
-Bertrand Russell

The Jews are the living embodiment of the minority, the constant reminder of what duties societies owe their minorities, whoever they might be.
-Abba Eban

The majority is always wrong. The minority is rarely right.
-Henrik Ibsen

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.
-Honoré de Balzac

The majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith; and when the ordinary man calls himself a skeptic or an unbeliever, that is ordinarily a simple pose, cloaking a disinclination to think anything out to a conclusion.
-T.S. Eliot

The majority of the American people still believe that every single individual in this country is entitled to just as much respect, just as much dignity, as every other individual.
-Barbara Jordan

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to be insane in such a useful way that they can't commit you.
-Mark Edwards

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
-John Dalberg-Acton

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
-A.A. Milne

The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.
-Pope John Paul II

The truth must essentially be regarded as in conflict with this world; the world has never been so good, and will never become so good that the majority will desire the truth.
-Søren Kierkegaard

The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.
-Johann von Schiller

Was there ever a time when the majority was right?
-Robert A. Heinlein

We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how every so often it is necessary in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
-Thomas Jefferson

What is morality in any given time or place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike.
-Alfred North Whitehead

What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
-Walter Lippmann

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right.
-Eugene V. Debs

When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
-Mark Twain

Whoever has an opinion of his own, and honestly expresses it, will be guilty of heresy. Heresy is what the minority believe; it is the name given by the powerful to the doctrine of the weak.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
-Leo Tolstoy


Categories: Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, The majority and the minority


Feedburner RSS Subscribe  Email Subscribe  Home   Commentwear   E-Mail KGB


Support KGB Report through our Amazon Affiliate page.


Donate via PayPal


Older entries, Archives and Categories       Top of page


Like KGB Report on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

« 2016-06-10
Home Page
2016-06-08 »