The mass media’s way of communicating war is basically to put fake tough-guy narcissists like Bill O’Reilly, Joe Biden, or Dick Cheney on your TV screen speaking to the equivalent of a pre-oedipal 2 year old: “there are scary people out there…you need to be terrified…heroic saviors will attack and destroy their bad countries for you so you can maintain your mental fantasy that you’re safe. All you need to do is keep shopping, buying your little toys, while daddy keeps you safe.”
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