In the United States and Europe, thousands of demonstrators have organized to protest government cutbacks and austerity measures being enacted upon the most vulnerable members of society. In the United States, students have poured out into the streets of cities on both coasts. ...they are protesting massive cuts in educational funding for both public and higher education and the laying off of thousands of teachers. The cuts are serious.
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