Yearning For Democracy
an article in Context Institute by Bill Moyers
(our site's article review)
Moyers says that: “The lie is John Wayne. The truth is Woody Allen.” This colorful and memorable metaphor speaks volumes about modern-day America. Our individual freedom depends not on our heroic individualism, but on our participating in democracy rather than letting the experts and insiders do it for us while we pursue the almighty buck.
Wayne was a heroic cowboy—but are WE heroic cowboys? Are our leaders?
Moyers says that the government and its policy makers have failed the people—no longer producing solutions to the problems that face us. The people are looking for a new American vision. And they’re realizing that it won’t be a they and them solution, but an I and we solution. The solutions will come from movements, grassroots dialogue and action, and new ideas, not from Uncle Sam or heroic politicians riding in on white horses to save us from ourselves.
We need grassroots movements, not Uncle Sam or heroic politicians riding in on white horses to save us from ourselves
Forget political salvationism and social engineering, both of which have shown themselves to be impotent at best and dangerous at worst. Democracy working well is going to be about what the people do, not what the politicians do. See also the Communitarian Network's The Responsive Communitarian Platform and Don Eberly's Building a Community of Citizens: Civil Society in the 21st Century.
We need to quit looking to social engineering superheroes and rely on local community efforts