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What is the meaning of the phrase ''might is right''?

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aemaem15 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 12, 2009 at 12:03 PM via web

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What is the meaning of the phrase ''might is right''?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM (Answer #1)

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The phrase "might is right" refers to the idea that people who have power can do whatever they want.  This idea is often phrased a little differently as "might makes right."  In this case, the word "might" is being used in the sense of power and the word "right" can mean either what is morally right or what one has the right to do.

In human terms, when the people who have the might do something, it can automatically come to be seen as morally right even if it really isn't.  This is true partly because no one can stop someone else who has a lot of power.  And it is partly true because "the winners write the history."

In the context of this story, the phrase refers to how life plays out among animals.  Among animals, whoever is strong enough to kill its food or its rivals will survive.  In such a case, there is no question about what is good or bad -- just who has more power.

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nrjlmb1 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2010 at 4:24 PM (Answer #2)

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according to me this statement is true only for those who have power but a person who have mind who intellegnt is can easily handle every situation is his life

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM (Answer #3)

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It simply means if many people or one in power think something is right, then it is "declared" to be right. It is somewhat true as most of the time, you cannot stop or change the opinion of many or of that of one in power.

In this case, among animals, whoever can fight hardest or best for survival is better- or "right" in this sense.

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