Student Article / Others

Might Is Always Right Or Right Is Might??

Might Is Always Right Or Right Is Might??

Assistant Editor

17 Apr, 2019

 "Might is always right" is a phrase that has both positive and negative attributes to it depending on the situation. It mostly describes that people on power are the ones who determine what is right and what is wrong. It is mostly used in a negative sense to mean that one who is powerful can have great control over their actions and can at times also turn their wrongs into rights. It mostly threatens the freedom of expression, discourages any scope of counter arguments and alternatives that might have the potential to favor a group of people and their ideas. 

However, the meaning also depends on the situation and the cause as well. During ancient period as decisions were considered final. The kings and their warriors defeated the weaker kingdoms and annexed them to their existing and that is how great kingdoms came into existence. The king and his trusted warriors would set the rules and run the kingdom. The supporters of the King also considered it essential in maintaining the political scenario while the opponents considered it morally unjustified. 

We need to try delving into it and it is imperative to understand whether the concept is totally unfair or it also does have some positive outlook too. 

Might Is Right or Right Is Might

When we study history we will always find that there were mighty kings who ruled and some of them were very successful whilst some even though were very powerful initially could not hold on to the throne and the kingdom for long? The question is why? To understand it better we need to completely reverse the phase and it will become, "Right is might". Plato had said " Do not expect justice where might is right". Many Kings though mighty could not hold for long because their might was tyrannical, devoid of justice, where common people had no say even though they were innocent. One of the greatest examples of such a dictatorial style of rule is that of Adolf Hitler. He believed in the survival of the fittest and his style of justice was widely unappreciated or rather still remains as one of the most degrading and horrifying time in the history of the human race. 

However, there are times when might needs to take over, like for instance, the Gulf War. In the early 1990’s Saddam Hussein had ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. The Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab powers were alarmed and called upon the Western nations and the United States to intervene. Saddam Hussein defied the United Nations Security Council’s demand to withdraw from Kuwait and thus U.S.A led a massive air strike offensive known as the Operation Desert Storm. The attacks went on for 42 days by the allied coalition both in the air and on the ground till the Iraqi forces in Kuwait had either surrendered or fled. In this case this show of strength or intervention was necessary not just to stop Saddam Hussein from capturing parts of Kuwait but also stop the menace that he and his son were subjecting on the people. This was a situation where might was indeed right. This was deemed necessary at that time considering the atrocities of Saddam Hussein against the Kurds. It is estimated that Saddam Hussein was guilty of killing 50,000 of Kurds. For 20 years the Iraqis were subjected to inhuman torture, murder, and rape under the reign of Saddam Hussein. So in this case the might of the coalition was thus necessary to end the torture and lead the Iraqis to freedom. 

It might be Right Story

On the other hand, this story also portrays how. “Might is right”, as people were forced to live a pathetic life under the brutal leadership of Saddam Hussein and his son Uday. Though in the end “might of the coalition” brought an end to the end of a barbaric leadership but the world came together to fight for what is actually “right”. The basic rights of the Iraqis, especially the Kurdish people, the fight to have a life of freedom and dignity. 

Like we had discussed earlier, this adage has many dimensions. The story of David and Goliath also tells us the same story that might is not always right. David was a shepherd boy who lived in Israel. He would tend to his sheep during the day and would play his harp in the evening. After tiring battles the king of Israel loved listening to David’s harp as his tunes were very soothing. However, soon a giant Goliath started threatening the people and the Jewish soldiers and would brag about his strength and challenged the soldiers. He was sure that none of the Jewish soldiers could defeat him. The Jewish soldiers were very scared of Goliath, but little David said he could tackle the mighty Goliath who was terrorizing the people. With the help of a sling little David hit the giant Goliath on his head and killed him, while all of Goliath’s friends fled, thus saving the Jewish people from the giant. Though David was small but he dared to face injustice with courage. He was fighting for what was right and the victory was his. 

If we study the human psychology, we will find that humans have a tendency to get carried away when one has the strength. History shows that when people have power it gets to them and at a certain time they start throwing their weight around. It happens around us all the time. It happens at every level. The plight of women being  oppressed being the weaker sex, the poor getting oppressed because they don’t have the strength to fight the rich, so on and so forth. 

Might is always not right”, because not all mighty people have the mental strength to be righteous, just and hence the ones who are stand out and become leaders. They have etched their names in the hearts of people and in history because they have used their power for the benefit of the masses.

Might when paired with what is right is a great force that can change the entire narrative. We need to have that might deep inside us to stand up for what is right, like little David had. We need to be mighty within to make a difference.

By: Madhuchanda  Saxena