The Minority Is Always Right

“The Minority is Always Right” – when I heard this quote from Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” for the first time about 15 years ago it sounded absurd to me, in large part because it went against the most fundamental principle of democracy, which says that we are to follow the majority’s will. However, as years went by, I started realizing the most profound wisdom of this statement. I have been periodically thinking about this quote in so many different situations, and I find more and more ways in which the minority seems to be right, while the majority seems to be so off. 

The busiest restaurants hardly serve the best food. In fact it’s usually mediocre, overrated, disappointing and unhealthy; and as we all know – it’s the holes in the wall that serve the most flavorful food and often feel so much warmer and more welcoming.

The biggest live theaters are often not worth sitting through, while smaller productions are so much more likely to be so captivating.    

In general, if there is a line of people out there waiting to get in or buy something, chances are it’s not worth buying.    

The books and the movies that are truly the best and the most valuable as pieces of art very rarely, if ever, get labeled as best sellers.

But this should not be surprising to anyone. Most of us are followers; not leaders. Very few of us reflect on our actions and indulge in critical evaluation of ourselves and others around us.

Tattoos, piercings, supporting legalization of marijuana and gay marriage don’t make you unique and special. In fact they make you very common in this town. Making your own choices, however, based on what you really like and not because that’s what’s “in” now, will go much further to making you feel and actually be that special who is part of that minority.


The Minority is always right.

HENRIK IBSEN, An Enemy of the People


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