Whatever the underlying reasons, Americans are just beginning to feel the economic, social and political consequences of having abdicated their power to incompetent and/or immoral leaders. It doesn't take "boots on the ground" (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen or anywhere else) to fire cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with women and children or to send unmanned drones into villages, and hope they hit the desired mark. It doesn't take brains, courage or good leadership skills either. What it does is insure a self-perpetuating cycle of endless war. That may enrich the military-technological complex for a minute, but it is guaranteed to impoverish the rest of us for generations to come.
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