Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?Mark pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens Twain: 1884 TheAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch.26.
Let me say it again, I don't believe in black majority rule ever in Rhodesia. Not in a thousand years.Ian Douglas Smith: 1976 Radio broadcast, 20 Mar.
The Government of the absolute majority, instead of the Government of the people, isbut the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.1833 Speech, US Senate,15 Feb.
What ismorality inany given time or place? It iswhat the majority thenand therehappento like, and immorality is what they dislike.Alfred North Whitehead: 1941 Conversation, 30 Aug. Collected in Dialogues (1954).
Flertallet har aldrig retten pafi sin side. Aldrig, siger jeg! Det er en af disse samfundslÖgnere, som en fri, t½nkende mand mafi gÖre oprÖr imod. Hvem er det, som udgÖr flertallet af beboerne i et land? Er det de kloge folk, eller er det de' dumme? Jeg t½nker, vi fafi r vaere enige om, at dumme mennesker er tilstede i en ganske forskr½kkelig overv½ldende majoritet rundt omkring pafi den hele vide jord. The majority never has right on its side.Never,I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against.Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.HenrikJohan Ibsen: 1882 En folkefiende (An Enemy of the People), act 4.
A majority is always the best repartee.Disraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield: 1847 Tancred, bk.2, ch.14.
We consider ourselves to be free because no one in our society is allowed unlimited powerno leader, faction, party or 'class', no majority, no government, church, corporation, trade, or professional association or trade union. The secret of its freedom is that it is composed of a multitude of organisations in the constitution of the best of which is reproduced that diffusion of power which is characteristic of the whole.Michael Joseph Oakeshott: 1962 Rationalism in Politics.
Un homme avec Dieu est toujours dans la majorite . One man with God is always a majority.john knox: Inscription on the Reformation Monument, Geneva, attributed to Knox.
Today I see more clearly than yesterday that back of the problem of race and color, lies a greater problem which both obscures and implements it: and that isthefact that so many civilized persons are willing to live in comfort even if the price of this is poverty, ignorance and disease of the majority of their fellowmen; that to maintain this privilege men have waged war until today war tends to become universal and continuous, and the excuse for this war continues largely to be color and race.W(illiam) E(dward) B(urghardt) Du Bois: Preface to reprint of The Souls of Black Folk (1969).
Putting a majority together is like a one-armed man wrapping cranberries.Bob (RobertJoseph) Dole: Quoted in Hedrick Smith The Power Game (1988).
There was a heated division of opinion in the lobbies during the interval but a small conservative majority took the view that it might be as well to remain in the theatre.Kenneth Tynan: 1953 Reviewing the play The Glorious Days.
We may appeal to every page of history we have hitherto turned over, for proofs irrefragable, that the people, when they have been unchecked, have been as unjust, tyrannical, brutal, barbarous and cruel as any king or senate possessed of uncontrollable power ... All projects of government, formed upon a supposition of continual vigilance, sagacity, and virtue, firmness of the people, when possessed of the exercise of supreme power, are cheats and delusions ... The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical.john adams: Letter to Thomas Jefferson (13 November 1815)
I've noticed that there is not necessarily a great relationship between what the majority of critics have to say and what is actually true. Some of them are so busy trying to mold the public taste according to the limits of their perceptions, and others are so busy reflecting what they consider to be the public taste — that view limited again by their perception. You find very few critics who approach their job with a combination of information and enthusiasm and humility that makes for a good critic. But there is nothing wrong with critics as long as people don't pay any attention to them. I mean, nobody wants to put them out of a job and a good critic is not necessarily a dead critic. It's just that people take what a critic says as a fact rather than an opinion, and you have to know whether the opinion of the critic is informed or uninformed, intelligent of stupid — but most people don't take the trouble.edward albee: "Edward Albee : An Interview", in Edward Albee : Planned Wilderness (1980) edited by Patricia De La Fuente, p. 8
I suspect that the vast majority of people, not knowing in advance whether they will either end up in a permanently vegetative state or be diagnosed with cancer, would prefer that any resources that would be spent on PVS care be reallocated to cancer research--or some similar enterprise that has the potential to help human beings who might actually recover.jacob m. appel: "Rational Rationing vs. Irrational Rationing", The Huffington Post (2010-06-23)
... I shall not waste any time on such miserable twaddle as to say that I ought to have been elected. ... It is the undoubted right of the people to change their servants, and to remove one and displace him with another at any time they choose, for a good reason, for a bad reason, or for no reason at all. If we are to remain a free people, it is the duty of public servants not grumpily and sourly to accept the verdict of the majority, but joyously to accept that verdict. . . .henry fountain ashurst: "Ashurst Out". Time (September 23, 1940)
I am a man of peace. I am longing and working and praying for peace, but I will not surrender the safety and security of the British constitution. You placed me in power eighteen months ago by the largest majority accorded to any party for many, many years. Have I done anything to forfeit that confidence? Cannot you trust me to ensure a square deal to secure even justice between man and man?stanley baldwin: Speech on BBC radio on the General Strike (8 May 1926), as quoted in Baldwin : A Biography by Keith Middlemas and John Barnes (1969), p. 415
Supposing I had gone to the country [in 1933], and said that Germany was re-arming, and that we must re-arm, does anybody think that this pacific democracy would have rallied to that cry at that moment? I cannot think of anything that would have made the loss of the election from my point of view more certain...we got from the country [in 1935], with a large majority, a mandate for doing a thing no one, twelve months earlier, would have believed possible.stanley baldwin: Baldwin answering Winston Churchill in the House of Commons (12 November 1936), as quoted in Churchill: A Study in Failure 1900-1939 (1970) by Robert Rhodes James, p. 268
Any law that takes hold of a man’s daily life cannot prevail in a community, unless the vast majority of the community are actively in favor of it. The laws that are the most operative are the laws which protect life.henry ward beecher: Civil Law and the Sabbath sermon (3 December 1882)
When we have a majority we will do it. I think the days of the Lords are quite genuinely numbered.tony benn: As quoted in The Times (13 November 1976)
It would be inconceivable for the House to adjourn for Easter without recording the fact that last Friday the High Court disallowed an Act which was passed by this House and the House of Lords and received Royal Assent — the Merchant Shipping Act 1988. The High Court referred the case to the European Court...I want to make it clear to the House that we are absolutely impotent unless we repeal Section 2 of the European Communities Act. It is no good talking about being a good European. We are all good Europeans; that is a matter of geography and not a matter of sentiment. Are the arrangements under which we are governed such that we have broken the link between the electorate and the laws under which they are governed? I am an old parliamentary hand — perhaps I have been here too long — but I was brought up to believe, and I still believe, that when people vote in an election they must be entitled to know that the party for which they vote, if it has a majority, will be able to enact laws under which they will be governed. That is no longer true. Any party elected, whether it is the Conservative party or the Labour party can no longer say to the electorate, "Vote for me and if I have a majority I shall pass that law", because if that law is contrary to Common Market law, British judges will apply Common Market law.tony benn: Speech to the House of Commons (13 March 1989) (Hansard, c. 56-8)
It is ... undeniable that no settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to return to the home from which he has been dislodged by the hazards and strategy of the armed conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. The majority of these refugees have come from territory which ... was to be included in the Jewish State. The exodus of Palestinian Arabs resulted from panic created by fighting in their communities, by rumours concerning real or alleged acts of terrorism, or expulsion. It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine, and, indeed, at least offer the threat of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees who have been rooted in the land for centuries.From the "Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine" by Folke Bernadotte. 16 September 1948. United Nations General Assembly Doc. A/648. Part one, section V, paragraph 6.
Apartheid — both petty and grand — is obviously evil. Nothing can justify the arrogant assumption that a clique of foreigners has the right to decide on the lives of a majority.steve biko: We Blacks
The Court's justification for consulting its own notions rather than following the original meaning of the Constitution, as I would, apparently is based on the belief of the majority of the Court that for this Court to be bound by the original meaning of the Constitution is an intolerable and debilitating evil; that our Constitution should not be 'shackled to the political theory of a particular era,' and that to save the country from the original Constitution the Court must have constant power to renew it and keep it abreast of this Court's more enlightened theories of what is best for our society. It seems to me that this is an attack not only on the great value of our Constitution itself but also on the concept of a written constitution which is to survive through the years as originally written unless changed through the amendment process which the Framers wisely provided.hugo black: Dissenting in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966).
From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. For more than 20 years, I have endeavored - indeed, I have struggled - along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural and substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor. Rather than continue to coddle the Court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved and the need for regulation eviscerated, I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.harry blackmun: Dissent from the denial of certiori, Callins v. James, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994)
The cup goes round:And who so artful as to put it by!'T is long since Death had the majority.robert blair: Part II, line 449.