Gloss, Majority / Teaching / Scholarship / Glossary /
Definitions, Ironies, Semiotic Whirligigs, Wisecracks …
@ K. 2009 07 13

Majority: The term “majority” is ambiguous in a way that typically slips past public consciousness. One the one hand it means a numerical majority; on the other, very different “hand,” its meaning is social and political: it means the individual (or the faction) with the leverage! Fifty-one out of one hundred is a numerical majority. Now assume that fifty-one out of one hundred teachers are united against the school board in demanding … any damn thing. Oppose them to one bureaucrat with connections in the IRS, the CIA, the Mafia … Which “majority” will prevail?

At Judgment it won’t matter how many million billion people scream that Jesus loves them, that they’re saved, that God MUST let them into heaven; God will have the only majority that counts.

And when the EPA floods the media with assurances that x parts per million of y is not dangerous, it’s the truth of the toxicity of y, not the EPA or the media, which will count.

If out of one hundred people voting on something, fifty-one vote for, forty-eight vote against, and one abstains, then the fifty-one “for” have the “majority.” They have a mathematical majority.

Under certain legal systems, if I turn twenty-one, I come into my “legal” majority. I can now claim the estates, moneys, titles held in trust for me since my father (or uncle, or whoever) died however many years ago.

If the numerical majority is color blind then I may be the only one, or one of a few, to see the bluebird: the majority sees a gray-bird.

If I control the weapons, the jails, the police, the courts, the academics … the numerical majority will call it a bluebird. Because I have the political majority.

If I have the one and only hydrogen bomb, I will soon control the weapons, the jails, the police, the courts, the academics … But already I have the majority: of coercion.

On the other hand if I am both intelligent and imaginative, have both integrity and honesty, if my honesty is simultaneously intellectual and spiritual, if I am careful about both definitions and facts … then I have neither a political, a legal, nor a numerical majority. Not only that, I will have no meaningful vote. For the political, legal, and numerical majorities will never hear a word I say.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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