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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Minority-Majority relations

    What obligations to minorities owe to majorities? Is it as important as the obligations which majorities may owe minorities by virtue of the power disparity between them based upon numbers? Do members of majority groups feel a need to identify or defend minorities purely by virtue of a minorities numbers and hence vulnerability or is it something else?

    I've been thinking about this lately because I've been thinking about democracy and also social conscience, a lot of what I consider key political questions relate to minority-majority relations and the power relations which are consequent.

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    Democracies do have a tendency to degenerate into "tyrannies of the majority" as Tocqueville put it. But when it comes to issues related to civil rights for example, the focus is almost entirely on the minorities. The simple notion that majorities have rights too is often forgotten or dismissed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Democracies do have a tendency to degenerate into "tyrannies of the majority" as Tocqueville put it. But when it comes to issues related to civil rights for example, the focus is almost entirely on the minorities. The simple notion that majorities have rights too is often forgotten or dismissed.
    Well the second part was what I was thinking about, although I do think that often majorities get alienated from their rights or identity and instead identify with a minority, sometimes a minority which doesnt reflect well what they imagine they are identifying with.

    There's passages in Orwell about this and his disillusionment, in direct dealings, with the down and outs he professed an abstract and political affinity with. That's something I've experienced too.

    The degeneration of democracies into tyrannies of majority I think says something about the failings of democracy or its curtailment and how prepared people are to engage with political democracy (or any other sort) anyway.

    Its funny that in democracies majorities often support legislation or candidates which mean they are actually voting directly against their interest, sometimes the candidates are very clear about too but they still win the votes.

  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Democracies do have a tendency to degenerate into "tyrannies of the majority" as Tocqueville put it. But when it comes to issues related to civil rights for example, the focus is almost entirely on the minorities. The simple notion that majorities have rights too is often forgotten or dismissed.
    I'm not sure how to balance that, as there is no easy way to distinguish between a good majority opinion and a bad one except for the impact of the majority opinion upon the minority in question; if it creates an inequity in QoL between the majority and the minority, then it's considered bad and balances are imposed. Otherwise we're stuck with a system where you need to be part of the majority in order to avoid being screwed, which has the effect of stamping out diversity, which typically isn't a good thing because of its impact on species survival/creativity/effectiveness. The majority in effect weakens or even murders itself by stamping out disparate voices.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not sure how to balance that, as there is no easy way to distinguish between a good majority opinion and a bad one except for the impact of the majority opinion upon the minority in question; if it creates an inequity in QoL between the majority and the minority, then it's considered bad and balances are imposed. Otherwise we're stuck with a system where you need to be part of the majority in order to avoid being screwed, which has the effect of stamping out diversity, which typically isn't a good thing because of its impact on species survival/creativity/effectiveness. The majority in effect weakens or even murders itself by stamping out disparate voices.
    I tend to prefer a referendum type system as opposed to a representational system where one person gets a vote regardless of whether he is supported by 50.1% or 99.9% of his constituents, but the system is only as good as the people who are voting. If only there was a way to give everyone equal access to all the knowledge they need to make the 'right' decision. Sadly, people today tend to read opinions that mirror their own and disregard what the other side says.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

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    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William K View Post
    Sadly, people today tend to read opinions that mirror their own and disregard what the other side says.
    Do clarify. I'm of the opinion that people have always had this stubborn reinforcement technique. Part of being a tribal superorganism I imagine.

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    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Do clarify. I'm of the opinion that people have always had this stubborn reinforcement technique. Part of being a tribal superorganism I imagine.
    I mean from reading the newspapers and websites that mirror their own despite having a wider range of options of getting information compared to our ancestors.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Do clarify. I'm of the opinion that people have always had this stubborn reinforcement technique. Part of being a tribal superorganism I imagine.
    [youtube="y4hruz5_Euo"]Fair and Balanced eh?[/youtube]

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    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William K View Post
    I mean from reading the newspapers and websites that mirror their own despite having a wider range of options of getting information compared to our ancestors.
    Comfort. Having your ideas and beliefs crumble around you is painful and is a perceived sign of both foolishness and incompetence. This is why god invented the film critic.

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    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Comfort. Having your ideas and beliefs crumble around you is painful and is a perceived sign of both foolishness and incompetence. This is why god invented the film critic.
    Heh. Is this why I go to movies that critics pan and avoid those they praise?
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

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