Theory of the political inaction of the majority in democracies, developed by American political scientists in the second half of the 20th century.
Only a small number, an elite, are politically active in democracies.
Any great degree of activism on the part of the masses would be destabilizing, and subversive of democracy. Therefore the political apathy of the mass of the population, far from being regrettable, is a necessary condition of political stability.
Thomas Dye and Harmon Zeigler, The Irony of Democracy (Belmont, California, 1970)