We face recurrent, intensifying economic crises (and economic stagnation for the working and middle class in the developed West) because our financial elites are unworthy. They are too often outright criminals - control frauds. They have no sense of accountability, no sense of duty to the nation (or community or world). ...Their anti-regulatory, pro-greed ideology triumphed and produced a global Great Recession. But for government intervention and bailouts they would have caused a second Great Depression worse than the original. And what do our elites do? They blame the least powerful citizens for the crisis the elites designed, implemented, and grew rich on.Read also Part 2
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up