William F. Buckley Jr. Quotes

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[D]emocracy can itself be as tyrannical as a dictatorship, since it is the extent, not the source, of government power that impinges on freedom." -William F Buckley

-William F. Buckley Jr.


William F. Buckley Jr. Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=democracy-can-itself-be-as-tyrannical-as-dictatorship-since-it-is-extent-not-source-government-power-that-impinges-on-freedom-william-f-buckley-william-f-buckley-jr

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[Professor Greene's] reaction to GAMAY, as published in the Yale Daily News, fairly took one's breath away. He fondled the word "fascist" as though he had come up with a Dead Sea Scroll vouchsafing the key word to the understanding of God and Man at Yale. In a few sentences he used the term thrice. "Mr. Buckley has done Yale a great service" (how I would tire of this pedestrian rhetorical device), "and he may well do the cause of liberal education in America an even greater service, by stating the fascist alternative to liberalism. This fascist thesis... This... pure fascism... What more could Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin ask for... ?" (They asked for, and got, a great deal more.) What survives, from such stuff as this, is ne-plus-ultra relativism, idiot nihlism. "What is required, " Professor Greene spoke, "is more, not less tolerance-not the tolerance of indifference, but the tolerance of honest respect for divergent convictions and the determination of all that such divergent opinions be heard without administrative censorship. I try my best in the classroom to expound and defend my faith, when it is relevant, as honestly and persuasively as I can. But I can do so only because many of my colleagues are expounding and defending their contrasting faiths, or skepticisms, as openly and honestly as I am mine." A professor of philosophy! Question: What is the 1) ethical, 2) philosophical, or 3) epistemological argument for requiring continued tolerance of ideas whose discrediting it is the purpose of education to effect? What ethical code (in the Bible? in Plato? Kant? Hume?) requires "honest respect" for any divergent conviction?

William F. Buckley Jr.
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