Quotations about   tyranny of the majority

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Conscience and the press ought to be unrestrained, not because men have a right to deviate from the exact line that duty prescribes, but because society, the aggregate of individuals, has no right to assume the prerogative of an infallible judge, and to undertake authoritatively to prescribe to its members in matters of pure speculation.

William Godwin (1756-1836) English journalist, political philosopher, novelist
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Book 2, ch. 5 (1793)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Godwin, William

No one can govern who cannot afford to be unpopular, and no democratic official can afford to be unpopular. Sometimes he has to wink at flagrant injustice and oppression; at other times a fanatical agitation compels him to pass laws which forbid the citizen to indulge perfectly harmless tastes, or tax him to contribute to the pleasures of the majority.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Inge, William Ralph

By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion. The State is competent to assign duties and draw the line between good and evil only in its immediate sphere. Beyond the limits of things necessary for its well-being, it can only give indirect help to fight the battle of life by promoting the influences which prevail against temptation, — religion, education, and the distribution of wealth.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
“The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” Speech, Bridgenorth Institute (28 Feb 1877)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Mar-14 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Acton, John Dalberg (Lord)

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
“The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” Speech, Bridgenorth Institute (28 Feb 1877)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Feb-14 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Acton, John Dalberg (Lord)

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
“The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” Speech, Bridgenorth Institute (28 Feb 1877)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-14 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Acton, John Dalberg (Lord)

What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Trial of C.B. Reynolds for blasphemy (May 1887)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Feb-12 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

The difference between a Democracy and a Dictatorship is that in a Democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a Dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and Tales of Ordinary Madness (1972)
    (Source)
Added on 16-May-07 | Last updated 17-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bukowski, Charles

The first measure of a free society is NOT that its government performs the will of the majority. That’s what we had in 1930s Germany, 1950s Georgia, and 1980s Iran. The FIRST measure of a free society is that its government protects the just freedoms of its minorities AGAINST the preferences, will and caprice of the majority.

Jim Warren (b. 1936) American mathematician, computer scientist, journalist, activist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-May-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Warren, Jim

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
“The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” Speech, Bridgenorth Institute (28 Feb 1877)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Acton, John Dalberg (Lord)