What we are seeing in Kansas is simply the micro of the macro, a symptom of a world that is increasingly susceptible to burning. We live on a planet that is approaching a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial average temperatures: a level not seen in the last 110,000 years.
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