What is a minority? The chosen heroes of this earth have been in a minority. There is not a social, political, or religious privilege that you enjoy today that was not bought for you by the blood and tears and patient suffering of the minority. It is the minority that have stood in the van of every moral conflict, and achieved all that is noble in the history of the world.
John Bartholomew Gough
A text by a minority writer is effective only if it succeeds in making the minority point of view universal. ('The Universal and the Particular')"... In claiming the lesbian point of view as universal, she overturns the concepts to which we are accustomed. For up to this point, minority writers had to add "the universal" to their points of view if they wished to attain the unquestioned universality of the dominant class. Gay men, for example, have always defined themselves as a minority and never questioned, despite their transgression, the dominant choice. This is why gay culture has always had a fairly wide audience. [From the Foreword "Changing the Point of View" by Louise Turcotte]
Exhibitions of minority art are often intended to make the minority itself more aware of its collective experience. Reinforcing the common memory of miseries and triumphs will, it is expected, strengthen the unity of the group and its determination to achieve a better future. But emphasizing shared experience as opposed to the artist's consciousness of self (which includes his personal and unshared experience of masterpieces) brings to the fore the tension in the individual artist between being an artist and being a minority artist.
These men were very much in the minority, but of course, being the 'Elect', they expected to be in a minority - the party of redemption. In fact they glorified in the slightness of their numbers, the self-purifying troop of Gideon's army... stormtroopers in the front line of the Reformation.
Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such.
The re-evaluation and rediscovery of minority art (including the cultural minority of women) is often conceived as a matter of remedying injustice and exclusiveness through doing justice to individual artists by allowing their work into the canon, which will thereby be more complete, but fundamentally unchanged.
Notwithstanding the extravagance of some of their characters, these nineteenth-century novelists describe a world in which inequality was to a certain extent necessary: if there had not been a sufficiently wealthy minority, no one would have been able to worry about anything other than survival. This view of inequality deserves credit for not describing itself as meritocratic, if nothing else. In a sense, a minority was chosen to live on behalf of everyone else, but no one tried to pretend that this minority was more meritorious or virtuous than the rest... Modern meritocratic society, especially in the United States, is much harder on the losers, because it seeks to justify domination on the ground of justice, virtue, and merit, to say nothing of the insufficient productivity of those at the bottom.
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. But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason.
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
In capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority.
A lot of authority figures want to be good. I sense that, and yet at the same time I sense that authority, after a while, always leads to some kind of oppression. When the minority report comes in, what you do is run the minority out of town with a flaming cross. It's just the way things are.
Parliamentary government is simply a mild and disguised form of compulsion. We agree to try strength by counting heads instead of breaking heads, but the principle is exactly the same... The minority gives way not because it is convinced that it is wrong, but because it is convinced that it is a minority.
James Fitzjames Stephen
There is a small minority of well-educated people with relatively sensible views on economics, and an extremely tiny minority of economists with highly sensible views. Then there's everybody else. ... To win, a politician needs to please the median voter. It makes little difference if a few thousand economists think you a fool.
We play into the definitions and stereotypes others impose on us and accept the model-minority myth, thinking it's positive, but it's a trap just like any stereotype. They put a piece of model-minority cheese between the metal jaws of their mousetrap, but we're lactose intolerant anyway! We can't even eat the cheese.
We must think of human progress, not as of something going on in the race in general, but as something going on in a small minority, perpetually beleaguered in a few walled towns. Now and then the horde of barbarians outside breaks through, and we have an armed effort to halt the process. That is, we have a Reformation, a French Revolution, a war for democracy, a Great Awakening. The minority is decimated and driven to cover. But a few survive- and a few are enough to carry on.
H. L. Mencken
The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights-that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
It's hard to be a minority. People look at you a different way, like you don't belong, and I don't think many people realize just how difficult it is to live as a minority. Where I come from, we learn to tolerate one another. Whether one is of Chinese descent or Malay descent, what matters is we're part of the same country, the same world.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded "" here and there, now and then "" are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.
Robert A. Heinlein
Notwithstanding the extravagance of some of their characters, these nineteenth-century novelist describe a world in which inequality was to a certain extent necessary: if there had not been a sufficiently wealthy minority, no one would have been able to worry about anything other than survival. This view of inequality deserves credit for not describing itself as meritocratic, if nothing else. In a sense, a minority was chosen to live on behalf of everyone else, but no one tried to pretend that this minority was more meritorious or virtuous than the rest. In this world, it was perfectly obvious, moreover, that without fortune it was impossible to live a dignified life. Having a diploma or skill might allow a person to produce, and therefore to earn, 5 or 10 times more than the average, but not so much more than that. Modern meritocratic society, especially in the United States, is much harder on the losers, because it seeks to justify domination on the ground of justice, virtue, and merit, to say nothing of the insufficient productivity of those at the bottom.
Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight.... If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
Henry David Thoreau
Who's counting? It was, of course, the minority who were counting. It always is. Most of the women I know today would dearly like to use their fingers and toes for some activity more enthralling than counting. They have been counting for so long. But the peculiar problem of the new math is that every time we stop adding, somebody starts subtracting. At the very least (the advanced students will understand this) the rate of increase slows. ... The minority members of any group or profession have two answers: They can keep score or they can lose.
[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention... intended our government should be a republic which differs more widely from a democracy than a democracy from a despotism. The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few, but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy, for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and that minority the chief owners of the property and truest lovers of their country.
Majority decisions tend to be made without engaging the systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the individuals in the group. Given the force of the group's normative power to shape the opinions of the followers who conform without thinking things through, they are often taken at face value. The persistent minority forces the others to process the relevant information more mindfully. Research shows that the deciscions of a group as a whole are more thoughtful and creative when there is minority dissent than when it is absent.
Philip G. Zimbardo
I am not fighting machinery as such, but the madness of thinking that machinery saves labor. Men save labor until thousands of them are without work and die of hunger on the streets. I want to secure employment and livelihood not only to part of the human race, but for all. I will not have the enrichment of a few at the expense of the community. At present the machine is helping a small minority to live on the exploitation of the masses. The motive force of this minority is not humanity or love of their kind, but greed and avarice.
Setting aside the vast herd which shows no definable character at all, it seems to me that the minority distinguished by what is commonly regarded as an excess of sin is very much more admirable than the minority distinguished by an excess of virtue. My experience of the world has taught me that the average wine-bibbler is a far better fellow than the average prohibitionist, and that the average rogue is better company than the average poor drudge, and that the worst white-slave trader of my acquaintance is a decenter man than the best vice crusader.
H. L. Mencken
The average man votes below himself; he votes with half a mind or a hundredth part of one. A man ought to vote with the whole of himself, as he worships or gets married. A man ought to vote with his head and heart, his soul and stomach, his eye for faces and his ear for music; also (when sufficiently provoked) with his hands and feet. If he has ever seen a fine sunset, the crimson color of it should creep into his vote. The question is not so much whether only a minority of the electorate votes. The point is that only a minority of the voter votes.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Internationalism is in any case hostile to democracy... The only purely popular government is local, and founded on local knowledge. The citizens can rule the city because they know the city; but it will always be an exceptional sort of citizen who has or claims the right to rule over ten cities, and these remote and altogether alien cities... To make all politics cosmopolitan is to create an aristocracy of globe-trotters. If your political outlook really takes in the Cannibal Islands, you depend of necessity upon a superior and picked minority of the people who have been to the Cannibal Islands; or rather of the still smaller and more select minority who have come back.
Because the persecuting majority is vile, says the liberal, therefore the persecuted minority must be stainlessly pure... What's to prevent the bad from being persecuted by the worse? Did all the Christian victims on the arena have to be saints?... A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority - not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities - because all minorities are in competition; each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest. And the more they all hate, and the more they're all persecuted, the nastier they become! Do you think it makes people nasty to be loved? You know it doesn't! Then why should it make them nice to be loathed? While you're being persecuted, you hate what's happening to you, you hate the people who are making it happen; you're in a world of hate. Why, you wouldn't recognize love if you met it! You'd suspect love! You'd think there was something behind it-some motive-some trick.