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# A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion

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Senior Manager
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 328
A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Sep 2019, 05:32
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A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinions and, most frequently, whose interests are opposed to those of another being, which is styled a minority. If it is admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should a majority not be liable to the same reproach? Men are not apt to change their characters by agglomeration; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with the consciousness of their strength. For these reasons we should not willingly invest any group of our fellows with that unlimited authority which we should refuse to any individual.

One social power must always predominate over others, but liberty is endangered when this power is checked by no obstacles which may retard its course and force it to moderate its own vehemence. Unlimited power is in itself a bad and dangerous thing, and no power on earth is so worthy of honor for itself or of reverential obedience to the rights which it represents that we should admit its uncontrolled and all-predominant authority. When the right and means of absolute command are conferred on a people or a king, on an aristocracy or a democracy, a monarchy or a republic, there has been implanted the germ of tyranny.

The main evil of the present democratic institutions of the United States does not arise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their overpowering strength; the excessive liberty which reigns in that country is not so alarming as is the very inadequate security which exists against tyranny.

When an individual or a party is wronged in the United States, to whom can he apply for redress? If to the public opinion, public opinion constitutes the majority; if to the legislature, it represents the majority and implicitly obeys its injunctions; if to the executive power, it is appointed by the majority and remains a passive tool in its hands; the public troops consist of the majority under arms; the jury is the majority invested with the right of hearing judicial cases, and in certain states even the judges are elected by the majority. However iniquitous or absurd the evil complained about, no sure barrier is established to defend against it.

1. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

(A) The Tyranny of the Majority
(B) Democracy: Triumph of the People
(C) Abuses of Power
(D) The Failure of Democracy in the United States
(E) Minority Rights

2. Which of the following best paraphrases the author’s statement in the highlighted text ?

(A) Individuals do not change their behavior when they act in concert with others who are likeminded, and, knowing they are acting as part of the group, they are not likely to show greater restraint when opposed than they would if they were acting individually.
(B) Groups are not different from one another, they all show strong impatience when thwarted.
(C) The character of men is formed by the accumulation of their traits, and patience is not a common trait among men of strength.
(D) The leopard does not change its spots no matter how long it lives, and it is, and remains, patient in the presence of obstacles.
(E) Men change their behavior when they act in groups; they are more patient when they are in the company of their fellows than they are when they are alone.

3. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

(A) Democracy is no greater defense against tyranny than is monarchy or aristocracy.
(B) Minority rule would probably be more responsive to the needs of all people than majority rule.
(C) No government should be trusted since all governments are equally tyrannical.
(D) Since one social power must always predominate over others, it is futile to provide checks and balances in government.
(E) To render itself immune to the germ of tyranny, the United States should strengthen its political institutions.

4. Which of the following, assuming that each is true, would most weaken the point that the author is making in the last two paragraphs of the passage?

(A) The framers of the U.S. Constitution deliberately separated the three branches of the government to prevent tyranny.
(B) There is not a single majority in the United States; there are many majorities, each composed of a different collection of individuals and each acting as a restraint on the others.
(C) The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically guarantees the right of each citizen to petition the government for redress of grievances.
(D) Even though the United States is not a direct democracy, all U.S. citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in political life and to hold public office.
(E) The framers of the U.S. Constitution had two primary concerns: to prevent the government from exercising tyranny over the people and to prevent the majority from exercising tyranny over the minority.

5. The author’s treatment of the topic of the passage can best be described as

(A) ironic
(B) neutral
(C) logical
(D) irreverent
(E) diffident

6. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
(A) challenging a commonly held belief
(B) contrasting two opposing views
(C) advocating a course of action
(D) reconciling an apparent conflict
(E) proposing a solution to an unrecognized problem

Originally posted by eyunni on 30 Nov 2007, 20:48.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 11 Sep 2019, 05:32, edited 5 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (506).
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 1719
Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2007, 00:35
1
eyunni wrote:
A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinions and, most frequently, whose interests are opposed to those of another being, which is styled a minority. If it is admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should a majority not be liable to the same reproach? Men are not apt to change their characters by agglomeration; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with the consciousness of their strength. For these reasons we should not willingly invest any group of our fellows with that unlimited authority which we should refuse to any individual.
One social power must always predominate over others, but liberty is endangered when this power is checked by no obstacles which may retard its course and force it to moderate its own vehemence. Unlimited power is in itself a bad and dangerous thing, and no power on earth is so worthy of honor for itself or of reverential obedience to the rights which it represents that we should admit its uncontrolled and all-predominant authority. When the right and means of absolute command are conferred on a people or a king, on an aristocracy or a democracy, a monarchy or a republic, there has been implanted the germ of tyranny.
The main evil of the present democratic institutions of the United States does not arise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their overpowering strength; the excessive liberty which reigns in that country is not so alarming as is the very inadequate security which exists against tyranny.
When an individual or a party is wronged in the United States, to whom can he apply for redress? If to the public opinion, public opinion constitutes the majority; if to the legislature, it represents the majority and implicitly obeys its injunctions; if to the executive power, it is appointed by the majority and remains a passive tool in its hands; the public troops consist of the majority under arms; the jury is the majority invested with the right of hearing judicial cases, and in certain states even the judges are elected by the majority. However iniquitous or absurd the evil complained about, no sure barrier is established to defend against it.

1. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?
(A) The Tyranny of the Majority
(B) Democracy: Triumph of the People
(C) Abuses of Power
(D) The Failure of Democracy in the United States
(E) Minority Rights

2. Which of the following best paraphrases the author’s statement in the third sentence of paragraph 1 (lines 7-11)?
(A) Individuals do not change their behavior when they act in concert with others who are likeminded, and, knowing they are acting as part of the group, they are not likely to show greater restraint when opposed than they would if they were acting individually.
(B) Groups are not different from one another, they all show strong impatience when thwarted.
(C) The character of men is formed by the accumulation of their traits, and patience is not a common trait among men of strength.
(D) The leopard does not change its spots no matter how long it lives, and it is, and remains, patient in the presence of obstacles.
(E) Men change their behavior when they act in groups; they are more patient when they are in the company of their fellows than they are when they are alone.

3. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?
(A) Democracy is no greater defense against tyranny than is monarchy or aristocracy.
(B) Minority rule would probably be more responsive to the needs of all people than majority rule.
(C) No government should be trusted since all governments are equally tyrannical.
(D) Since one social power must always predominate over others, it is futile to provide checks and balances in government.
(E) To render itself immune to the germ of tyranny, the United States should strengthen its political institutions.

4. Which of the following, assuming that each is true, would most weaken the point that the author is making in the last two paragraphs of the passage?
(A) The framers of the U.S. Constitution deliberately separated the three branches of the government to prevent tyranny.
(B) There is not a single majority in the United States; there are many majorities, each composed of a different collection of individuals and each acting as a restraint on the others.
(C) The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically guarantees the right of each citizen to petition the government for redress of grievances.
(D) Even though the United States is not a direct democracy, all U.S. citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in political life and to hold public office.
(E) The framers of the U.S. Constitution had two primary concerns: to prevent the government from exercising tyranny over the people and to prevent the majority from exercising tyranny over the minority.

5. The author’s treatment of the topic of the passage can best be described as
(A) ironic
(B) neutral
(C) logical
(D) irreverent
(E) diffident

6. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
(A) challenging a commonly held belief
(B) contrasting two opposing views
(C) advocating a course of action
(D) reconciling an apparent conflict
(E) proposing a solution to an unrecognized problem

Explanations more than welcome.

1.A
This is def. the main topic
2.A
If u read the first paragraph I think this best mirrors what the author was said.

3.A
POE here, all the rest were not good answers.

B: this is too extreme and is not suggested in the passage.
C: too extreme
D: goes against the passage. author agrees one social power must dominate, but not that it is futile to have checks and balances. quite the opposite.
E: not suggested.

4.E or B not sure
I think its probably B, but my answer during my timing was E.
A: doesnt really support, not strong enough
C: out of scope
D: so? passage says basically this doesnt matter

E and B. I said E b/c if the makers made the US to prevent against majority tyranny then I guess this supports the author. B im still not sure about.

5.C
A: he/she is not ironic
B: contendor choice, but I think neutral is not accurate here. The author has a tone towards the material.
D:irrevent means "rude" this isnt it
E:diffident means "shy" this isnt it.

6.A

B: no two views are presented
C: no course of action is proposed
D:no conflict is presented
E: no solution is presented
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Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2018, 04:26
1
Rid21sa

6. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
(A) challenging a commonly held belief
Yes, majority should not be given too much power is argued. Keep.

(B) contrasting two opposing views
Only one view is given

(C) advocating a course of action
No course of action is suggested

(D) reconciling an apparent conflict
Identified a conflict, but no resolution

(E) proposing a solution to an unrecognized problem
No solution is proposed

A looks best

--

Patience delivers.

Posted from my mobile device
Manager
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Posts: 168
Concentration: Technology, Nonprofit
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Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 08:11
780gmatpossible wrote:
BG wrote:
Hi,
for Q1 think it is A
Q2 think it is D
Q3-A
Q4-B
Q5-C
Q6 is a little beit hard but think A

780gmatpossible

1. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

(A) The Tyranny of the Majority

(B) Democracy: Triumph of the People
he talks against democracy

(C) Abuses of Power
this should have had different instances/examples of abuse of power

(D) The Failure of Democracy in the United States
the author doesn't say democracy has FAILED in the US; he points a big drawback of the institution (also this covers partial scope)

(E) Minority Rights
minority rights are only mentioned briefly to make the point about how the majority can get too much power

A covers the entire scope of the passage pretty well.

Hope this helps!
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Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2018, 08:23
Analysis to Question 6.

6. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
(A) challenging a commonly held belief - Relatively better but not clear enough. Still, we could pick it. Check this from the first paragraph:"If it is admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should a majority not be liable to the same reproach?" It's obvious that author is challenging or questioning a view.

(B) contrasting two opposing views - There is no 2nd views and the author is not contrasting. He's just focusing on one view.

(C) advocating a course of action - There is a potential action suggested by the author (for example, last sentence in the first paragraph). But proposing a solution is not the main concern here. The main concern of this passage is to show the issues remaining in the majority tyranny.

(D) reconciling an apparent conflict - There is no conflict and the author is not reconciling.

(E) proposing a solution to an unrecognized problem - There is a potential solution but whether the problem is unrecognized is not mentioned. Also proposing an action is not the main concern since author is trying to list how badly the majority tyranny is and why.
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Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion  [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2018, 01:55
OA to question 3 looks absurdly for me.
I agree, it fits better than any of the other choices. But it is still does not clear and cogent answer.

Shall we think that if it's stated that "When the right and means of absolute command are conferred on a people or a king, on an aristocracy or a democracy, a monarchy or a republic, there has been implanted the germ of tyranny" it clearly leads to conclusion that democracy is at exactly the same position like monarchy or aristocracy? (as in the 3'rd question)

Despite author gives us clear arguments that american version of democracy (he talks only about american) is not a remedy for tyranny germ, we still can think that:
- another (not american) version of democracy is better that (firstly) american democracy or (secondly) another political regime.
- american democracy is liable to shortfalls, but all another regimes are liable to more serious or even catastrophic shortfalls. Hence american democracy is better that any of the choices.
- another regime, even if stated as a liable to shortfalls, is better than american democracy (why not, author said only about american democracy shortfalls?)

I do not want to talk about politics (GMAT questions require only ordinary knowledge, right?) and to challenge OAs of bygone times (even if I right by my commonsence, my logic is still does not fit to GMAT standards and I do not make my score better this way)
I want just to know what to do in situations like this one.

Thanks!
Re: A majority taken collectively may be regarded as a being whose opinion   [#permalink] 31 Dec 2018, 01:55
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