A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is
A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority.
-Henry David Thoreau
All politics are based on the indifference of the majority.
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.
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
Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the
majority is ignorant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is
created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.
If you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of
yours: Nature did it.
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.
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.
It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By
definition, there are already enough people to do that.
It is safe to wager that every public idea and every accepted convention
is sheer foolishness, because it has suited the majority.
It takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority is never
right until it does right.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The Jews are the living embodiment of the minority, the constant
reminder of what duties societies owe their minorities, whoever they
The majority is always wrong. The minority is rarely right.
The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.