...in the run-up to these games, the hosts – or at least the Canadian Olympic Committee – seemed to have mislaid their manners. "Own the podium," it implored its athletes in an initiative aimed at ensuring the host nation finishes at the top of the medals table at these games. Money has been poured into training, while a hard-edged approach has been adopted in dealing with other teams, most noticeably in granting them only limited access to facilities such as the sliding track.
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