Majority

The majority is wicked.

We settle things by a majority vote, and the psychological effect of doing that is to create the impression that the majority is probably right. Of course, on any fine issue the majority is sure to be wrong. Think of taking a majority vote on the best music. Jazz would win over Chopin. Or on the best novel. Many cheap scribblers would win over Tolstoy. And any day a prizefight will get a bigger crowd, larger gate receipts and wider newspaper publicity than any new revelation of goodness, truth or beauty could hope to achieve in a century.

Few are open to conviction, but the majority of men are open to persuasion.

The vast majority of people are slavers to their desires. The true king who deserves a royal crown is only a person who is free from the pressures of his desires.

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.

The majority of man are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, terribly objective sometimes, but the real task is in fact to be objective towards oneself and subjective towards all others.

We are not asking our children to do their own best but to be the best. Education is in danger of becoming a religion based on fear; its doctrine is to compete. The majority of our children are being led to believe that they are doomed to failure in a world which has room only for those at the top.

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.

The majority of men are more capable of great actions than of good ones.

When a law is proposed in the people’s assembly, what is asked of them is not precisely whether they approve of the proposition or reject it, but whether it is in conforming with the general will which is theirs; each by giving his vote gives his opinion on this question, and the counting of votes yields a declaration of the general will. When, therefore, the opinion contrary to my own prevails, this proves only that I have made a mistake, and that what I believed to be the general will was not so. If my particular opinion had prevailed against the general will, I should have done something other than what I had willed, and then I should not have been free. This presupposes, it is true, that all characteristics of the general will are still to be found in the majority; when these cease to be there, no matter what position men adopt, there is no longer any freedom.

The world is judged by the majority of its people, and an individual by the majority of his deeds. Happy he who performs a good deed: that may tip the scale for him and the world.

People today live without faith. On the one hand, the minority of wealthy, educated people, having freed themselves from the hypnotism of the Church, believe in nothing. They look upon all faiths as absurdities or as useful means of keeping the masses in bondage - no more. On the other hand, the vast majority, poor, uneducated, but for the most part truly sincere, remain under the hypnotism of the Church and therefore think they believe and have faith. But this is not really faith, for instead of throwing light on man’s position in the world it only darkens it.

The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves.

The majority of people who seek physical pleasures and all forms of entertainment are trying to push away the gnawing feeling of emptiness in their lives and the sadness that is an integral part of worldly matters.

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs.

Tolerance of opinions which are thought to be innocuous is as easy, as acts of charity that entail no sacrifice. But the test of a free society is its tolerance of what is deplored or despised by a majority of its members. The argument for such tolerance must be made on the ground that it is useful to the society... that free societies are better fitted to survive than closed societies.

The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of people who have become wealthy have become so thanks to work they found profoundly absorbing. The long term study of people who eventually became wealthy clearly reveals that their "luck" arose from accidental dedication they had to an arena they enjoyed.

Justice, not the majority, should rule.

I can think of few important movements for reform in which success was won by any; method other than that of an energetic minority presenting the indifferent majority with a fait accompli, which was then accepted.

People do not understand liberty or majorities. The will of the majority is the will of a rabble. Democracy is leveling - this is inconsistent with true liberty.