James MadisonJames Madison, (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President

James Madison Quote

“There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.”

James MadisonJames Madison
~ James Madison

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN


David L. Rosenthal

Does it not depend on the political system prevalent in the place and at the time where the maxim is applied? And on the definition of political? Of course, the majority can be wrong, but that is not necessarily in a political sense. Anyway, the majority do not understand what is really in their best interst, but only in their superficial interest.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Good insight from David, for as far as it goes that is... hum, James Madison... hum... perhaps he was talking about the political system in use in the United States of his time, eh?

E Archer, NYC

Seems totally straight-forward to me. It is the definition of 'political correctness'.

Dick, Fort Worth

Mark Twain once said that should you find yourself in accord with majority opinion you shoud rethink your position.

jim k, Austin, Tx

The majority of the folks in Germany supported Adolph Hitler almost till the last gun was fired. Mark Twain was right on with his quote.

Mike, Norwalk

"the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong." is a despot's call to enforce tyranny. A government of law (the laws of nature and of nature's God) is the political standard of individual sovereignty, flourishing and expanding freedom, liberty, prosperity, the rights of man and all else that is eternally noble.

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Rita    5/18/12

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