It seems that it is impossible to live without discovering the purpose of your life. And the first thing which a person should do is to understand the meaning of life. But the majority of people who consider themselves to be educated are proud that they have reached such great height that they cease to care about the meaning of existence.Leo Tolstoy (1903-10) A Calendar of Wisdom, April 30.
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
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
When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.eugene v. debs
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.
A decline in the national housing price level would need to be substantial to trigger a significant rise in foreclosures, because the vast majority of homeowners have built up substantial equity in their homes despite large mortgage-market financed withdrawals of home equity in recent years.Alan Greenspan
I shall be most grateful to the gods if I am not disappointed in the opinion which I have of you. For, while we find that the great majority of other men seek the society of those friends who join them in their follies and not of those to admonish them, just as they prefer the most pleasant to the most wholesome, you, I think, are minded otherwise as I judge from the industry you display in your general education. For when one sets for himself the highest standard of conduct, it is probable that in his relation to others he will approve only of those who exhort him to virtue. But most of all you would be spurred on to strive for noble deeds if you should realize that it is from them most of all that we also derive pleasure in the true sense. For while the result of indolence and love of surfeit is that pain follows on the heels of pleasure, on the other hand, devoted toil in the pursuit of virtue, and self-control in the ordering of one's life always yield delights that are pure and more abiding. In the former case we experience pain following upon pleasure, in the latter we enjoy pleasure after pain.isocrates
Progress is a possibility for the animal: it can be broken in, tamed and trained; but it is not a possibility for the fool, because the fool thinks he has nothing to learn. It is his place to dictate to others and put them right, and so it is impossible to reason with him. He will laugh you to scorn in saying that what he does not understand is not a meaningful proposition. 'Why don't I understand it, then?', he asks you, with marvellous impudence. To tell him it is because he is a fool would only be taken as an insult, so there is nothing you can say in reply. Everybody else sees it quite clearly, but he will never realize it.Here then, at the outset, is a potent secret which is inaccessible to the majority of people; a secret which they will never guess and which it would be useless to tell them: the secret of their own stupidity.eliphas levi
Marcos is all the exploited, marginalised, oppressed minorities resisting and saying "Enough!" He is every minority who is now beginning to speak and every majority that must shut up and listen. He is every untolerated group searching for a way to speak. Everything that makes power and the good consciences of those in power uncomfortable — this is Marcos.subcomandante marcos
"We have achieved political freedom but our revolution is not yet complete and is still in progress, for political freedom without the assurance of the right to live and to pursue happiness, which economic progress alone can bring, can never satisfy a people. Therefore, our immediate task is to raise the living standards of our people, to remove all that comes in the way of the economic growth of the nation. We have tackled the major problem of India, as it is today the major problem of Asia, the agrarian problem. Much that was feudal in our system of land tenure is being changed so that the fruits of cultivation should go to the tiller of the soil and that he may be secure in the possession of the land he cultivates. In a country of which agriculture is still the principal industry, this reform is essential not only for the well-being and contentment of the individual but also for the stability of society. One of the main causes of social instability in many parts of the world, more especially in Asia, is agrarian discontent due to the continuance of systems of land tenure which are completely out of place in the modern world. Another-and one which is also true of the greater part of Asia and Africa-is the low standard of living of the masses. India is industrially more developed than many less fortunate countries and is reckoned as the seventh or eighth among the world's industrial nations. But this arithmetical distinction cannot conceal the poverty of the great majority of our people. To remove this poverty by greater production, more equitable distribution, better education and better health, is the paramount need and the most pressing task before us and we are determined to accomplish this task. We realize that self-help is the first condition of success for a nation, no less than for an individual. We are conscious that ours must be the primary effort and we shall seek succour from none to escape from any part of our own responsibility. But though our economic potential is great, its conversion into finished wealth will need much mechanical and technological aid. We shall, therefore, gladly welcome such aid and co-operation on terms that are of mutual benefit. We believe that this may well help in the solution of the larger problems that confront the world. But we do not seek any material advantage in exchange for any part of our hard-won freedom."Source: Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate
One on God's side is a majority.wendell phillips
At bottom, the court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.john paul stevens
Throughout our history there have been weaker elements who have shirked the sacrifices which Judaism entailed. They have been swallowed, long since, in the great majority; only the more stalwart have carried on the traditions of their ancestors, and can now look back with pride upon their superb heritage. Are we to be numbered with the weak majority, or with the stalwart minority? It is for ourselves to decide.Cecil Roth, A History of the Jews (1961) p.423.
The government have only a small majority in the House of Commons. I want to make it quite clear that this will not affect our ability to govern. Having been charged with the duties of Government we intend to carry out those duties.harold wilson
To be sure, the Bible contains the direct words of God . How do we know? The Moral Majority says so. How do they know? They say they know and to doubt it makes you an agent of the Devil or, worse, a Lbr-l Dm-cr-t. And what does the Bible textbook say? Well, among other things it says the earth was created in 4004 BC (Not actually, but a Moral Majority type figured that out three and a half centuries ago, and his word is also accepted as inspired.) The sun was created three days later. The first male was molded out of dirt, and the first female was molded, some time later, out of his rib. As far as the end of the universe is concerned, the Book of Revelation (6:13-14) says: "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." … Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.Isaac Asimov
For the first time in the history of our country the majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years.jimmy carter
[Iraq is] not Vietnam, we have a government that has a support of the majority of the people.bill clinton
The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency.Albert Einstein
In this Court dissents have gradually become majority opinions.felix frankfurter
The successful politician owes his power to the fact that he moves within the accepted framework of thought, that he thinks and talks conventionally. It would be almost a contradiction in terms for a politician to be a leader in the field of ideas. His task in a democracy is to find out what the opinions held by the largest number are, not to give currency to new opinions which may become the majority view in some distant future.friedrich hayek
Social stability is the product of an equilibrium between a vigorous majority and violent minorities. Disorder does not come from an increased inner pressure or from the interaction of explosive ingredients. There is no reason to believe that the nature of the violent minorities is now greatly different from what it was in the past. What has changed is the will and ability of the majority to react. It is hard to tell what causes the pervasive timidity. One thinks of video-induced stupor, intake of tranquilizers, fear of not living to enjoy the many new possessions and toys , the example of our betters in cities and on campuses who high-mindedly surrender to threats of violence and make cowardice fashionable.Eric Hoffer
It seems to me that entitlement is the key to nearly all atrocities, and that any threat to perceived entitlement will provoke hatred. The man who flayed the cat presumably felt that his employers were entitled to the cat's skin. Europeans felt that they were (and are) entitled to the land of North and South America. Slave owners clearly felt they were entitled to the labor (and the lives) of their slaves, not only in partial payment for protecting slaves from their own idleness, but also simply as a return on their capital investment. Owners of nonhuman capital today feel they, too, are entitled to the "surplus return on labor," as economists put it, as part of their reward for furnishing jobs, and to provide a return on their investment in capital. Rapists act on the belief that they are entitled to their victims' bodies, and entitled to inflict cruelty upon them. Americans act as though we are entitled to consume the majority of the world's resources, and the change the world's climate. All industrialized humans act like they're entitled to anything they want on this planet.derrick jensen
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.james madison
The majority of Americans the ones who never elected you are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction.Michael Moore
Of recent years... representative government all over the world has been threatened with a growing paralysis. Legislative bodies have tended more and more to become wholly inefficient for the purposes of legislation. The prime feature in causing this unhealthy growth has been the discovery by minorities that under the old rules of parliamentary procedure they could put a complete stop to all legislative action... If the minority is as powerful as the majority there is no use of having political contests at all, for there is no use in having a majority.theodore roosevelt
The whole world knows that virtue consists in the subjugation of one's passions, or in self-renunciation. It is not just the Christian world, against whom Nietzsche howls, that knows this, but it is an eternal supreme law towards which all humanity has developed, including Brahmanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and the ancient Persian religion. And suddenly a man appears who declares that he is convinced that self-renunciation, meekness, submissiveness and love are all vices that destroy humanity (he has in mind Christianity, ignoring all the others religions). One can understand why such a declaration baffled people at first. But after giving it a little thought and failing to find any proof of the strange propositions, any rational person ought to throw the books aside and wonder if there is any kind of rubbish that would not find a publisher today. But this has not happened with Nietzsche´s books. The majority of pseudo-enlightened people seriously look into the theory of the Übermensch, and acknowledge its author to be a great philosopher, a descendant of Descartes , Leibniz and Kant . And all this has come about because the majority of pseudo-enlightened men of today object to any reminder of virtue, or to its chief premise: self-renunciation and love -virtues that restrain and condemn the animal side of their life. They gladly welcome a doctrine, however incoherently and disjointedly expressed, of egotism and cruelty, sanctioning the idea of personal happiness and superiority over the lives of others, by which they live.leo tolstoy
The unhappy truth is that male homosexuality will never be fully accepted by the heterosexual majority, who are obeying the dictates not of bigoted society or religion but of procreative nature.camille paglia
The majority of NRMs are, however, not indigenous to Europe. Many can be traced to the United States (frequently to California), including offshoots of the Jesus Movement (such as the Children of God, later known as the Family); the Way International; International Churches of Christ; the Church Universal and Triumphant (known as Summit Lighthouse in England); and much of the human potential movement (such as est, which gave rise to the Landmark Forum, and various practices developed through the Esalen Institute). Several of the movements came from Asia, mainly India (Rajneesh; ISKCON; Brahma Kumaris; Divine Light Mission [later called Élan Vital]; Sathya Sai Baba, Transcendental Meditation; Sahaja Yoga; Ananda Marga; and various practices associated with Tantra, kundalini, and other types of yoga), but also from Japan (Soka Gakkai; Rissho Kosei Kai; Agon Shu; Mahikari; Tenrikyo); Korea (the Unification Church); and other parts of Asia (Caodaism from Vietnam; Fo Guang from Taiwan; Falun Gong from China). There are also groups from the Caribbean (Rastafarianism) and Africa (Cherubim and Seraphim; the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star), most of these finding their home among the black populations residing in Europe. Another development has been the growth of a number of Islamic groups (Hizb ut-Tahrir; the Nation of Islam; Al-Muhajiroun; Murabitun).Barker, Eileen (2005). "New Religious Movements in Europe". in Jones, Lindsay. Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit: Macmillan Reference. p. 6568. ISBN 9780028657431.
Interviewer: Why was no woman elected in the parliamentary election in Kuwait, or in the other Gulf states? Kuwaiti MP Ahmad Baqer: In my opinion, a large part, if not the majority, of society believes – and even considers this to be part of its faith and religion – that women should not hold governing positions. A fatwa on this was issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Religious Endowment, and by the Al-Azhar University in 1952, as well as fatwas in many other countries...The Prophet sent male governors, judges, and ambassadors, but he never sent women, only men.Kuwaiti Politicians Debate Why Women Were Not Elected to Parliament. MEMRI (November 11, 2007).
In our governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of government contrary to the sense of the constituents, but from the acts in which government is the mere instrument of the majority.James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson (October 24, 1787). The Papers of James Madison, vol. 10, pp. 213-14, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991)