February 23, 2013

Disagreement vs. Dissension

Disagreement produces debate but dissent produces dissension. Dissent (which come from the Latin, dis and sentire) means originally to feel apart from others. People who disagree have an argument, but people who dissent have a quarrel. People may disagree and both may count themselves in the majority. But a person who dissents is by definition in a minority. A liberal society thrives on disagreement but is killed by dissension. Disagreement is the life blood of democracy, dissension is its cancer.
-- Daniel J. Boorstin