Monday, April 13, 2009

Who is in control?

“Beware the tyranny of the minority.”
~Latin proverb

I should probably define what I think the words 'minority' and 'tyranny' mean. I think that minority is less than half of a particular group that are of a different stance on a particular issue. Tyranny, for the purpose of this quote, can be a person who manipulates a system or rule to better them. Having defined these words, I'll explain why I agree with this quote.

Each person has been a tyrant. Go to a local day-care center and watch the children. Yes, you were like that too. Yes, you pouted when you didn't get your way. Manipulation and tyranny can be hand-in-hand for a child. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I go to the store and see children throwing tantrums. The minority is the child. The tyranny is the actions of the child wanting some candy. The child gets angry because they don't get what they want and start manipulating the parent to get what they want. The worst parents are the ones who give it to the child to appease them.

The minority can be for something as large as an ethnic group, or as small one person. In America, we practice our 'right' of speaking up when we don't agree with something. (Personally, I call it complaining.) It's when the smaller section of the group doesn't get what they want, that problems start to occur. One example could be a group project for a high school. One section of a class might want to do something different than the rest of the class. They state their opinion, and if they aren't listened to, they fight for 'their rights' and try to change it to benefit themselves.

I've had a philosophy in my life that goes well with the quote at the beginning of the post. "The minority is always the majority". If you think about it, it's true. If there is a majority vote, and the minority complains enough, there are new rules made. It kind of bothers me. Obviously, the majority felt a certain way. When those in charge decide to help out the small part of the group and make rules specifically for them, it dismisses the desires of the majority. I think to myself, what's the point of having a vote if it's not going to determine a change based on the group as a whole. The minority is not the group as a whole.

I think that if we are going to try to make decisions that affect others, we should try to help everyone. But, if only a small percentage of a group is not in accord with the others, you can't please everyone. It benefits the group if you listen to what the overall group is saying.

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