Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

Quote of the Day: “The one genuine revolution of our time”

A Libyan rebel at the frontline near Sultan, south of Benghazi, Libya, Friday, March 18, 2011

With ongoing developments in the Middle East — and the Midwest — in mind, here’s Frye in “On Human Values”:

“Ever since since about two hundred years ago, for a variety of reasons, and for better or worse, man has embarked upon a program of revolution. In the centre of that revolutionary program I see democracy. That seems to me to be the one genuine revolution of our time. . . . Therefore, one cannot identify democracy with a form of government like republic or monarchy. It is a process, and a process which, I should say, following the terms of the French Revolution, is a pursuit of liberty, equality and fraternity. If you pursue liberty and forget about equality you get laissez-faire, which ends in a most abominable tyranny. If you pursue equality and forget about liberty, you get a totalitarian state, which also ends up in an abominable tyranny. And consequently, the central revolutionary process of our time pursues simultaneously liberty and equality.” (CW 24, 15)

(Photo: Anja Niedringhaus/AP)



BBC report on the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990

South Africans voted in a national referendum to end apartheid on this date in 1992.

Frye in one of the late notebooks links apartheid to the pernicious synthesis of religion and political doctrine:

The worst governments are those with double ideologies, where a political doctrine is backed by a religious one, as in Iran. Israel is better, but I’d hate to have to live even there. But South Africa’s apartheid is buttressed by a remarkably dismal Dutch Reformed creed, and fifty years ago the word “Christian” in the name of a political party meant “Roman Catholic Fascist.” (CW 6, 91)