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Moderators: Zendam
Junior Member
I'm writing a paper for school.
I am trying to find out who said
"Might makes right."
If you know who said it and
what book it is in,
please let me know.

Posts: 1 | Registered: 04-23-04Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quoteland Godfather
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I affirm that might is right, justice the interest of the stronger~Plato, The Republic, bk i, ch. 12, sec. 338C. (c. 375 BC).

The saying has a long history but Plato's is the earliest I found.

I stand on the terrible threshold, and I see
The end and the beginning in each other's arms~Stanley Kunitz, "Open the Gates"
Posts: 21244 | Location: CT | Registered: 08-30-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quoteland Titan
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"Might makes right" was an argument by Thrasymachus in Plato's Republic. Also Machiavelli wrote extensively about "might makes right"


Language is nothing more than shared normative conception that 2+3=5.

I am here to spread Quoteland Jingoism.
Posts: 3788 | Location: California then Vermont | Registered: 09-13-01Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
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This is also a phrase that Abraham Lincoln used in an address against slavery. A Speech which was recently given again by an actor to a live audience in some large city in the Northeast (Boston?). Check the Associated Press archives, as it was recently run in the newspapers.
Posts: 8 | Registered: 05-01-04Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
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Preamble to the Constitution of The American Legion
For God and Country
we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:

to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community,state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and goodwill on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
Posts: 4 | Location: rochester mn usa | Registered: 09-18-03Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
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As a follow-up, I guess it was actually 'right makes might' that Lincoln said, rather than the other way around. Even so, here's more detail:
The speech, against the expansion of slavery, was given by Abe Lincoln on 27 February 1860, at Cooper Union's Great Hall, in New York. They say it is the speech that made Lincoln president.

The quote comes from the following passage: "Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

The actor that recently re-enacted the speech was Sam Waterson, and I believe it was done at Cooper Union on Wednesday, 5 May 2004.

Ironically, it was Lincoln who did more to seriously undermine, if not destroy, the founders' ideas of and constitutional provisions of states rights during the course of his presidency than most previous to, or since (until, perhaps the last few administrations) -- which would prove the concept that might makes right.
Posts: 8 | Registered: 05-01-04Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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