"It is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority."
Lord Acton
[John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton] (1834-1902), First Baron Acton of Aldenham
The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- P.M.      
 -- Anonymous, reston, VA US      
 -- Anonymous     
    Come to Canada where we are oppressed by minorities, Like you cannot call a homosexual a 'queer' because 1.2 percent of the population have had a law passed which makes such a remark a "hate crime" and a punishable criminal offence! The next step is to legalize "same sex" marriages, followed by the burning of the Holy Bible and the banishment of the G-d Jehovah from our lives!
     -- Gordon D., Hamilton, Canada     
    It is perhaps more dismal to be an oppressed minority. At leased if you’re an oppressed majority you have more of a chance to correct the situation.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Its all about perspective, If you are right (Whether you know you are or not) it is bad to be oppressed by a minority and worse by a majority.
     -- JoW, Utah     
    Majorities definitely rule, but there is usually a heavy price paid by the minority. There is strength in numbers but a majority should never use it as a battering ram, such as the Christian "majority" in Salem Witch trials or the white racial majority enslaving blacks in America.
     -- Melissa, Cleveland, Ohio     
    There is no difference in the two except that more people may be content when the majority oppresses - so long as their consciences can be stilled. No man should revel in oppressing another whether he be joined by many or by few.
     -- JS, Houston, TX     
    That is bass akwards.
     -- WARREN, OLATHE     
    Gordon D , why is the Bible holy. Have you ever read it ? The Bible is an assortment of writings over a thousand or so years of which we can only guess who wrote them, and were put together by several committees over a 400 year stretch. Read the old testament and tell me why you think it's holy.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    What oppression is worse by majority than minority ? I understand the reference to democracy - it takes on an air of righteousness simply because of the numbers. I also understand the greater difficulty in getting rid of the majority. Is the quote a reference of generalities ?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    A quote made by one of the greatest minds to live. At and around 1860 before the Civil War, there was war raging in England's political world. Acton at odds with the arrogance of the Pope and Monarchy, and their stance on infallibility. As also William Ewart Gladstone. Both in one accord. These men being considered Liberals. Chophshiy and Brakah type. Blessed form bondage and tax. Acton took a great interest in America. Believing the Federal structure Perfect Guarantor of Liberties. His sympathy lay entirely with the Confederacy, for their defense of States Rights, against a centralized government that , ( by ALL historical precedent would inevitably turn tyrannical. ) After the South surrender, he wrote Robert E Lee. that " I morn for the stake that was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo " . Adding that he " Deemed that you were fighting for our Liberty, our Progress and our Civilization ".
    Gladstone also and his Finance system of natural Liberty.
    " Gladstone influences all round him but Acton, It is Acton that influences Gladstone. Majority being the worse by way of centralized government.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    There are three precedence of natural law exposed , original sin, grace , and predestination . A tri-cord in common sense, originated by written word. Bringing about the Protestant Reformation. Within the Catholic church all at the same time.
    Sin original, ( loosed from guilt ), ( grace, unmerited favor of fault ) , ( predestination , Divine Providence ) and the fulfillment of Gods rights to man. By way of Hippo, and Lord Acton and William Ewart Gladstone . another tri-cord of revolt within the Catholic church. By way of Paul and Martin Luther. One can not forget Hippo and the French. I am married to a Catholic decenter !!
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Jim the word ( holy ) simply means separate. Separate Book. A compilation of judgment based upon experience. Let experience be our guide. A book no doubt ordained of God. The Rock upon which the Republic rest. The Rock being a Right mindedness, plumb, square, balanced in judgment of good and evil, light and dark, night and day, right and wrong.
    The mind of God written in a book, which means exactly what it says, as it says it, where it says it. A neutral naturalistic view point never embraces pure Liberty. Even though you enjoy the fruits thereof under grace. The King James Bible , Separated and set up to stand on in one accord with our founding fathers." A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education ".
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Beware of the artificial constructions of minorities such as skin color or gender. The minority does not oppress, simply because they are the instrument of the vital life sustaining change.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
    Also, you bratty violent kid, possibly describing some element of the condition is not changing it.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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