Frye on Democracy 5

From “The Analogy of Democracy”:

One difficulty about defining the word “democracy” is that it is not the name of a specific form of government, like republic or monarchy. It represents, rather, an informing idea, a process, which, because it has developed out of the past, is traditional, and, because it is moving toward a future goal, revolutionary. . . Thus democracy is to be judged, not by what it does, but what it aims at in spite of what it does. The supremacy of civil over military power, the full publication of all acts of government, the toleration of unpopular opinion, are all recognized to be unchangeable principles of democracy even when they are flouted as often as exemplified. (CW 4, 27)

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One thought on “Frye on Democracy 5

  1. Martin

    Yes! Democracy is evidenced by a trend or process whereby the state is rendered more transparent and amenable to the will of the people. Democracy is not the state of a society but more the direction it is taking. In this way the Venezuela under Hugo Chavez is democratic whereas Canada under Harper, highly antidemocratic.


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