It’s been said before, and it will be said again - There is good and evil in the world, and the difference lies in who takes action, and what they do.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. -Albert Einstein
Lets look at this statistically - the Pareto principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So, 20% of people produce 80% of the movement, outcome, utility, harm, etc. (Also tend to hold 80% of the wealth.)
Business management theory has elaborated, a la the diffusion of innovations or adoption curve, that with any idea, there is only a small percentage of the population that innovate or adopt things early on. Then comes the majority, followed by the laggards. This is somewhat overly simplistic - it excludes the certain percentage that actively fight the adoption of a new cultural movement, or new technology.
(continued below…) This can be seen through the lens of technology - there are early innovators, and most people end up using mainstream technologies (computers, telephones, televisions, email, the Internet, etc.) eventually. But there are also people who become Luddites, or decide a certain technology is bad. There are also lots of technologies that received a lot of resistance and then just peter out.
Similar things could be said for cultural movements. There are the movements that gain traction until everyone pretty much agree with it - say, women’s suffrage, or civil rights. These are the movements that were, at the start, fairly radical, but those times have past.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.- Edmund Burke (probably)
There are still people out there violently opposed to even widely-accepted cultural movements.
These people could be laggards, or they could be the “active resistors.” If they’re resisting integration, race equality, or women voting, this is an uncool position for them to take - even a downright “evil” position, and good people shouldn’t allow this viewpoint to gain traction in an egalitarian society.
But what is they’re resisting something evil? Think - the people during or before the Civil War that would help runaway slaves and forge papers for them, even though that was illegal. Or Bradley Manning & Edward Snowden, fighting against government abuses (now that Big Brother really is watching us, and covering it up).
What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.~ Albert Einstein
My point being - many things that turn out to be good, or turn out to have been evil, started with just a few people and gained widespread acceptance. There are generally some vocal dissenters, and the majority position they’re fighting may end up validated by history, or villified by it.
The difference between good and evil may just be the ability of a society to tolerate dissenting voices, integrate various viewpoints, and come out with a truly moderate solution. This involves tolerance for freedom of speech and freedom of expression - but it also involves transparency, admitting to mistakes, and robust whistleblower protections.
It involves each of us making a habit of questioning the dominant narrative, and doing what needs doing, whether or not anyone agrees with us at all.
The world is a dangerous place to live because of the people who are evil AND because of the people who don’t do anything about it.