Former Florida congressman Alan Grayson pushes back against self-described “Republican reptile” P.J. O’Rourke on last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
Here is a quote from Frye cited in Bob Denham’s essay, “Frye and Soren Kierkegaard,” in his new collection Essays on Northrop Frye, posted in our library this week. The quote is particularly relevant to the rise in the last few weeks of what is now an international “Occupy” movement.
The basis of all tolerance in society, the condition in which a plurality of concerns can coexist, is the recognition of the tension between concern and freedom. . . . Concern and freedom both occupy the whole of the same universe: they interpenetrate, and it is no good trying to set up boundary stones. Some, of course, meet the collision of concern and freedom from the opposite side, with a naive rationalism which expects that before long all myths of concern will be outgrown and only the appeal to reason and evidence and experiment will be taken seriously. . . . I consider such a view entirely impossible. The growth of non-mythical knowledge tends to eliminate the incredible from belief, and helps to shape the myth of concern according to the outlines of what experience finds possible and vision desirable. But the growth of knowledge cannot in itself provide us with the social vision which will suggest what we should do with our knowledge. (233)