The “Majority Opinion” Is an Illusion

The article below is a fantastic commentary regarding the dangerous philosophy of “majority opinion.” It is the reason why America was set up as a constitutional republic, that is, a society based upon the rule of law which limits the power of centralized government and recognizes certain unalienable rights that we have as humans which cannot be taken away by any government.

The “Majority Opinion” Is An Illusion
Thursday, 24 January 2013 03:20 Brandon Smith of Alt-Market

If there is one concept on Earth that has been the absolute bane of human existence (besides global elitism), it would have to be the concept of the “majority opinion”. The moment men began refusing to develop their own world views without first asking “What does everyone else think?”, they set themselves up for an endless future of failures. We are, of course, very social beings, and our natures drive us to seek those of like mind and spirit in what some might call a “tribal imperative”. However, this imperative to organize is often manipulated by those who understand the psychological mechanisms behind it. Oligarchs and tyrants abuse and exploit the inherent social natures of the people in order to fool them into abandoning their individuality for the sake of the group, or some abstract and dishonest ideal. When successful, the organization of a culture becomes bitter and twisted, changing from a tribe or a community of sovereign individuals, into a nightmare collective of soulless sheep.

Human beings desperately want to belong, but, they also desperately want to understand the environment around them. Often, the desire to belong and the desire to know the truth conflict. In some societies, in order to be accepted, one must give up on his search for truth and avoid eliciting the anger of others. This causes a severe mental and emotional disturbance within a population. In order to reconcile their conflicting needs within a system that does not nurture their quest for transparency, they tend to unconsciously cling to the “majority view” as if their very existence depends on it. The idea of the majority view or the “mainstream”, gives people the sense that they are a part of a group, and at the same time, gives them the illusion of being informed.

Their rationale is:

If most of the population believes something to be true, then, by “statistical law”, it most likely is true. Those who do not share in the majority opinion are therefore in opposition to statistical law; meaning they are behind the times, social deviants, or just plain crazy..

The problem is, history has shown that at pivotal moments in a society the “majority opinion” is usually WRONG. Any progress we do enjoy as a species is almost always due to the actions of tireless aware minorities, or even a lone man or woman who saw what the rest of us could not.

The greatest discoveries and truths have always been the product of individual thought and effort; numerous individuals working on parallel paths to generate new pieces of knowledge or more balanced and principled methods of living. There has never been such a thing as a collectivist realization, or a collectivist truth, and there never will be. Collectives do not think creatively or honestly. Their only concern is the survival of the system at all costs, and usually this requires a foundation of lies.

As a nation or culture edges towards collectivist tyranny, the battle-cry of the “majority opinion” will drown out all other reasonable voices. It has happened before, and unfortunately, it will happen again. In America today, I believe we are nearing the moment where the mass view becomes the only acceptable or legally sanctioned view. With the 2nd Amendment issue alone, the most common argument by anti-gun proponents is that “the majority opinion is on their side”. I’m here to point out that the “majority opinion” is, in fact, an illusion, and completely irrelevant. Here is why…

Most “Majorities” Are Fake Majorities

A recent poll on gun rights touted by Reuters stated that over 74% of the American public supported new and stricter gun laws including a ban on “automatic” (do they mean semi-automatic?) weapons:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-usa-guns-poll-idUSBRE90G1B120130117

Reuters pretends as if the poll is a sweeping vindication of anti-gun advocates, but what is the deeper story behind the poll? Reuters waits until the very last line of the article to mention that only 559 people participated, which hardly seems like a large enough pool to determine the overall position of the entire American public. Who were these people who were polled? Where were they polled? What questions were they asked and how were the questions posed? All of these factors can be manipulated during polling to produce a desired end result.

In April of 2012, a similar poll stated a somewhat similar case, but also relented that a “majority” of Americans supported most pro-gun positions, including conceal carry, and the need for civilians to intervene during a criminal event:

http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5586

What the polls do not outline is the fact that many people are undecided on a number of details, and that there is no clear “majority” on any of them. Polling methods are indicative of the mainstream farce. In most cases, when a mass of people are presented as a “majority”, we do not know exactly how that conclusion was arrived at. Who decided these people were of the same mind and how?

Beyond this problem, those people who claim to be a part of the majority, are sometimes ill informed and do not have all the facts at their disposal. If there is indeed such a thing as any majority, it could only be the majority of people who do not know what to think! So, instead of the gun issue, for instance, being a fight between a “majority” of anti-gun advocates versus a “minority” of pro-gun advocates, we are actually looking at a fight between two educated MINORITIES, pro-gun and anti-gun, pro-liberty and anti-liberty, with an uneducated and oblivious public in-between.

To gun control propagandists I would point out that being able to lie to the unaware and con them into parroting your talking points is not the same as “having the majority on your side”. There may be some utility to retaining an army of bleating sheep, but in the end what do sheep really do beyond bleat, except eat, sleep, watch, and wait to see which way the winds blow…?

Read the rest here.

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