"Demography is destiny” (infrequently given as “demographics is destiny” or “demographics are destiny") was coined by Ben Wattenberg and Richard M. Scammon in their book The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate (1970). The authors wrote “to paraphrase Heraclitus by saying, ‘Demography is destiny’”—Heraclitus (535 BC-475 BC) wrote “character is destiny.” In politics, “demography is destiny” means that the demographics of a population indicate which political party will carry a district.
The saying “demography is destiny” has been attributed to French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) since the 1980s. The word “demography,” however, was first cited in print in 1880. Comte (and many other writers) might have written something similar, but the authorship attribution is incorrect.
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
de·mog·ra·phy noun \di-ˈmä-grə-fē\
Definition of DEMOGRAPHY
: the statistical study of human populations especially with reference to size and density, distribution, and vital statistics
Origin of DEMOGRAPHY
French démographie, from Greek dēmos people + French -graphie -graphy
First Known Use: 1880
Wikipedia: The Real Majority
The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate was a 1970 bestselling analysis of United States politics by Ben Wattenberg and Richard M. Scammon. The book analyzed electoral data, especially from the 1968 presidential election, to argue that the American electorate was centrist, and that parties or candidates, to be viable, must appeal to the “real majority” of the electorate at the center.
The book was written by Ben Wattenberg and Richard M. Scammon, who were both moderate Democrats at that time. Wattenberg is now a prominent figure in the neo-conservative movement, although at the time of the book’s publication he was a member of Social Democrats USA.
Ηράκλειτος (Herakleitos; Heraclitus) of Ephesus (c.535 BC - 475 BC) was a Greek philosopher, known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, and for establishing the term Logos (λόγος) in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the Cosmos.
On the Universe
Character is destiny.
. Fragment 121
. Variant translations:
. Character is fate.
. Man’s character is his fate.
. A man’s character is his fate.
. A man’s character is his guardian divinity.
. One’s bearing shapes one’s fate.
Wikipedia: Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte (19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857), better known as Auguste Comte (French pronunciation: [ogyst kɔ̃t]), was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. He may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term.
Strongly influenced by the Utopian socialist Henri de Saint-Simon, Comte developed the positive philosophy in an attempt to remedy the social malaise of the French revolution, calling for a new social paradigm based on the sciences. A relatively obscure figure today, Comte was of considerable influence in 19th century thought, impacting the work of thinkers such as Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill. His version of sociologie and his notion of social evolutionism, though now outmoded, set the tone for early social theorists and anthropologists such as Harriet Martineau and Herbert Spencer. Modern academic sociology was later formally established in the 1890s by Émile Durkheim with a firm emphasis on practical and objective social research.
The Real Majority
By Richard Montgomery Scammon and Ben J. Wattenberg
New York, NY: Coward-McCann, Inc.
Pg. 11 (Index):
4. Demography Is Destiny; Unyoung, Unpoor, Unblack 45
5. Demography Is Destiny: Middle-Aged, Middle-Class Whites 59
This sort of demographc information is of the utmost importance to the psephologist. While it may overstate the case to paraphrase Heraclitus by saying, “Demography is destiny,” in an electoral sense there is a good measure of truth in the phrase.
Diversity in American society
By Saul D. Feldman and Gerald W. Thielbar
Boston, MA: Little, Brown
Summing up the new social science approach to politics, political analysts Richard Scammon and Benjamin Wattenberg wrote that “Demography is destiny.”
An association executiveʼs guide to a decade of change and choice
By David Pearce Snyder and Gregg Edwards
Washington, DC: Foundation of the American Society of Association Executives
The “father” of demography, a nineteenth century French philosopher named Auguste Comte, asserted that, “Demography is destiny!”
Tracking America’s Journey
By Richard Stengel / Managing Editor Monday, Oct. 23, 2006
The idea that “demography is destiny,” a phrase usually attributed to the 19th century French philosopher Auguste Comte, lies at the foundation of this week’s special report. The social, cultural and economic fabric of a nation derives in large part from its population dynamics. For example, we tend to think a country’s crime rate results from a complex mix of social factors, and it does. But it often traces mainly to a single population statistic: the number of young men between 15 and 30 years of age, the population cohort that tends to be responsible for the most crime.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, March 12, 2011 • Permalink