[A]nother anti-racist activist, writing in 2007, shows this is a stock phrase [the phrase "a vast majority" when it is used as a bludgeon against those opposed to public opinion on any given subject]:
There should be a two-pronged attack on the fascists: dealing with their lies on the ground, and dealing with the social problems that lead to resentment and move people to vote for the BNP in a protest vote. We know the vast majority of people in this country abhor the racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic ideas of the party.
I was struck suddenly by the strangeness of the term "protest vote." Does anybody else find the idea of a "protest" vote sinister and Orwellian? Isn't all voting a form of assent or dissent? Perhaps it is the case that we generally vote the way we are supposed to and, when we don't, we merely demonstrate our unorthodoxy and reveal our impenitence to our smiling, khaki-clad, latte-drinking, platitude spouting, conformity enforcing, wannabe Torquemadas of the modern age?
The phrase "vast majority" when utilized in this fashion concerns me, as it rightfully should concern any person espousing a minority viewpoint. The anti-racist activist quoted above believes that there should be an attack, presumably carried out by the overwhelming or vast majority, on the fascists. These fascists, who are already marginalized by virtue of their political eccentricity, are now to be "attacked" by the numerical majority!
Generally, when a small band of people assembles for the express purpose of attacking others or engaging in criminal activity we attach to the group a label: gang, bandits, syndicate, mafia, etc. However, in circumstances where the gang is comprised of an overwhelming majority of the populace, we attach to the conspirators the very dignified sounding appellation, the public, and their crimes are sanctioned, their opinions received as wisdom and the blood they shed and tread on redeems.
The public has proven itself to be the greatest and most harsh tyrant of all. It exercises near total control in its wildly arbitrary and indiscriminately vast decrees that encompass nearly every human activity, subjecting even the minutia of the lives of the people to its dominion, ever expanding its empire by the pressure of peerage, it rules us through a network of informants from whom we can never secure even the smallest sanctuary or modicum of peace.
Who watches the watcher's watchers? The public is a petty and capricious bitch of a custodian. Woe to the man who casts his vote against the multitude! Who, after all, would protest the people save a lunatic?
Cross-posted in slightly edited form at Majority Rights: Watching for Signs of Public Anti-Fascism