Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one. — Henry David Thoreau
A more accurate but less feelgood version of the original quote:
Any man who is actually right when his neighbors is wrong constitutes a majority of one.
And the corollary:
Any man who isn’t actually right but insists that he is a majority of one is just an asshole.
The world seems to have a plethora of people in the first and third categories. It’s unfortunate that we have so few in the second category.
Whoever said that violence never solved anything had no connection to reality. While it is not quite so that violence solves everything, it is a readily observable truth that violence does, in fact, solve rather a lot of problems. What we should be telling ourselves instead is that it’s a bad solution.
But sometimes – just sometimes – it is actually the least bad solution.