Quote of the Day: Frye on Democracy and Freedom


Frye in his Convocation Address at Acadia University, May 6, 1969:

“Revolutions are started, though they are seldom finished, by people of conviction.  Nothing is more tedious than other people’s convictions, and the most natural response to tedium is apathy.  But apathy, on the part of the majority, means that democracy is no longer a matter of majority rule, but is simply a state of enduring the tyranny of organized minorities.  It is no good talking of “backlash”: a society that does not believe in itself is fundamentally helpless, no matter how much backlashing goes on . . .

Freedom without concern can, it is quite true, become a lazy and selfish parasite on a power-structure.  But concern without freedom can equally well become the most squalid of tyrannies, contemptuous of truth and with no moral principles beyond its next tactic.”  (CW 10, 335)

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