Saturday, December 10, 2011

Some Thoughts on Majorities

"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." 

"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."

"A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men."

"Haint't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?"
Huck Finn

"People don't ask for facts in making up their minds. They would rather have one good, soul-satisfying emotion than a dozen facts."

" . . . the human race is divided politically into one wise man, nine knaves, and ninety fools out of every hundred. that is, by an optimistic observer. The nine knaves assemble themselves under the banner of the most knavish among them, and become 'politicians': the wise man stands out because he knows he is hopelessly outnumbered, and devotes himself to poetry, mathematics, or philosophy; while the ninety fools plod off behind the banners of the nine villains, according to fancy, into the labyrinths of chicanery, malice, and warfare."
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