Is the Majority Always Right

Topics: Middle East, World War II, Japanese American internment Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: May 29, 2011
Many of the societies we live in today are based on the majority's decision, placing importance, and the right to make decisions, on the people, and their choices. Even in societies that do not function this way, the majority's ways of thinking are reflected in how they act. Is this majority decision always right, however? Can the majority be trusted to make decisions and behave in ways that are considered "right", "moral", and "justified"? In my opinion, believing that the majority will always be right is a questionable and debatable belief, as it can often be a false assumption, and it should also be acknowledged that the majority itself will change over time, as will their beliefs.

A well-known example of poor decisions made by the majority is found in racism, or any other discriminatory thoughts and behaviours that have been, and are still, exhibited. For example, the violent and wide-spread racism found in history, such as that in American history, was an instance where the majority, in this case, an American-Caucasian majority, decided that they were the superior race, that they were to have privileges, while African-Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and others of different ethnicities, were to be of a lesser status. This decision was a majority decision, but was it right? Was it right to pay Chinese workers five dollars less when working on the transcontinental railroad, and give them no food, simply because they were not white? Was it right to purposely not cure African-American men that had syphilis to study the effects of the disease? Of course not. However, at the time that these acts occurred, they were not done without the public's knowledge, nor were they considered "wrong" acts – after all, the people that were suffering were not Caucasians. Although today these acts would be looked upon as immoral, and against human rights, it is only because the majority's beliefs have changed that our opinions have changed also. The majority's ways of thinking...
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