subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements
(Redirected from Majorities)

A majority, also known as a simple majority in the U.S., is a subset of a group that is more than half of the entire group. This should not be confused with a plurality, which is a subset having the largest number of parts.

Quotes edit

  • A man in the right, with God on his side, is in the majority, though he be alone, for God is multitudinous above all populations of the earth.
  • A majority can do anything.
    • Joe Cannon, maxim quoted in a tribute to Cannon on his retirement, The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland (March 4, 1923); reported in The Congressional Record (March 4, 1923), vol. 64, p. 5714
  • One with the law is a majority.
    • Calvin Coolidge, speech accepting nomination as Republican candidate for vice president, Northampton, Massachusetts (July 27, 1920), as reported by The New York Times, July 28, 1920, p. 6
  • The man who is right is a majority. We, who have God and conscience on our side, have a majority against the universe.
    • Frederick Douglass; Frederic May Holland, Frederick Douglass: The Colored Orator, Haskell House Publishers, New York, 1969, p. 212
  • Human life in common is only made possible when a majority comes together which is stronger than any separate individual and which remains united against all separate individuals. The power of this community is then set up as "right" in opposition to the power of the individual, which is condemned as "brute force."
  • The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That’s one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population—the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority.
  • I'm plotting revolution against this lie that the majority has a monopoly of the truth. What are these truths that always bring the majority rallying round? Truths so elderly they are practically senile. And when a truth is as old as that, gentlemen, you can hardly tell it from a lie.
  • As for the Minority, its very existence proves that it does not recognise the Authority of the Majority, since forming a minority means precisely being opposed to the majority, and so 'reacting' (in one way or another) against its acts. But, where there is no Authority, 'reactions' can only be removed by force. Therefore, wherever the Majority claims a sui generis would-be 'Authority' resulting form its sheer number, it is in fact claiming pure and simple force. (A regime that is based purely and solely on a majority is a regime founded on force only. The 'majority' regime can therefore be contrasted with the 'authoritarian' one; the latter rests on Authority, while the former rests on force.)
  • A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and limitations, and always changing easily, with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.
    • Abraham Lincoln, First inaugural address (March 4, 1861). Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 4, p. 268, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990)
  • The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.
    • Walter Lippmann, “Why Should the Majority Rule?” Harper’s Magazine (New York, 1926)
  • It is quite plain that your government will never be able to restrain a distressed and discontented majority. For with you the majority is the government, and has the rich, who are always a minority, absolutely at its mercy.
    • Thomas Babington Macaulay, letter to Henry Stephens Randall (May 23, 1857); reported in Thomas Pinney, ed., The Letters of Thomas Babington Macaulay (1981), vol. 6, p. 95.
  • 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)
  • In republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.
    • James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention (1829). The Mind of the Founder: Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison, p. 512, ed. Marvin Meyers, Indianapolis (1973)
  • Let historians not record that when America was the most powerful nation in the world we passed on the other side of the road and allowed the last hopes for peace and freedom of millions of people to be suffocated by the forces of totalitarianism. And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support.
    • Richard Nixon, address to the Nation on the Vietnam war (November 3, 1969). Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1969, p. 909.
  • Majority rule is a precious, sacred thing worth dying for. But—like other precious, sacred things, such as the home and the family—it's not only worth dying for; it can make you wish you were dead. Imagine if all of life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza. Every pair of pants, even those in a Brooks Brothers suit, would be stonewashed denim. Celebrity diet and exercise books would be the only thing on the shelves at the library. And—since women are a majority of the population—we’d all be married to Mel Gibson.
    • P.J. O'Rourke, “The Mystery of Government,” Parliament of Whores (1991)
  • In God's world, there are no majorities, no minorities; one, on God's side, is a majority.
  • How a minority,
    Reaching majority,
    Siezing authority,
    Hates a minority!
    • Attributed to Leonard Harman Robbins, Minorities; reported in Bergen Evans, Dictionary of Quotations (1968), p. 423; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).

See also edit

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: