The majority is by no means omniscient just because it is the majority. In fact, I've found that the line which divides majority opinion from mass hysteria is often so fine as to be virtually invisible.
People need to learn the art of making an argument. Often there is no right or wrong. It's just your opinion vs someone else's opinion. How you deliver that opinion could make the difference between opening a mind, changing an opinion or shutting the door. Sometimes folk just don't know when they've "argued" enough. Learn when to shut up.
First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of the truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.
I love football. I love the aesthetics of football. I love the athleticism of football. I love the movement of the players, the antics of the coaches. I love the dynamism of the fans. I love their passion for their badge and the colour of their team and their country. I love the noise and the buzz and the electricity in the stadium. I love the songs. I love the way the ball moves and then it flows and the way a teams fortune rises and falls through a game and through a season. But what I love about football is that it brings people together across religious divides, geographic divides, political divides. I love the fact that for ninety minutes in a rectangular piece of grass, people can forget hopefully, whatever might be going on in their life, and rejoice in this communal celebration of humanity. The biggest diverse, invasive or pervasive culture that human kinds knows is football and I love the fact that at the altar of football human kind can come worship and celebrate.
See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.
The only time I want someone's opinion is when I ask for it. Reason why I don't ask for anyone's opinion nowadays is because they are too afraid, they always cover the truth with a lie, which is something I hate tremendously. When I ask for your opinion; I want full brutal honesty, face on, outright! Not a lot of people can do that, which is sad, very sad indeed...
Pain is slight if opinion has added nothing to it;... in thinking it slight, you will make it slight. Everything depends on opinion. It is according to opinion that we suffer. A man is as wretched as he has convinced himself that he is.
When modern sociologists talk of the necessity of accommodating one's self to the trend of the time, they forget that the trend of the time at its best consists entirely of people who will not accommodate themselves to anything. At its worst it consists of many millions of frightened creatures all accommodating themselves to a trend that is not there. And that is becoming more and more the situation... Every man speaks of public opinion, and means by public opinion, public opinion minus his opinion.
A man should always have these two rules in readiness. First, to do only what the reason of your ruling and legislating faculties suggest for the service of man. Second, to change your opinion whenever anyone at hand sets you right and unsettles you in an opinion, but this change of opinion should come only because you are persuaded that something is just or to the public advantage, not because it appears pleasant or increases your reputation.
Do you still believe i public opinion? Well let me tell you public opinion is a gimmick thought up by the English and Americans, it's them who are shitting us up with this public opinion rot, of you'll excuse my language, we've never had their political system, we don't have their traditions, we don't even know what trade unions are, we're a southern people and we obey whoever shouts the loudest and gives the orders.
Now since shame is a mental picture of disgrace, in which we shrink from the disgrace itself and not from its consequences, and we only care what opinion is held of us because of the people who form that opinion, it follows that the people before whom we feel shame are those whose opinion of us matters to us.