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

Friday, November 26, 2010

When Citizens Are Merely Political Spectators They Get Rolled Over by the Political Class

by Micah Uetricht from AlterNet

This is an interview with journalist Benjamin Dangl, author of Dancing With Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America. Dangl describes the general pattern of leftist politics in South America and the implications they may have for political organizing in North America. Thus, instead of putting all of one's hope on electing progressive candidates, North Americans must organize their own independent bases of power like they have done in South America. Here is where to start:
For progressive changes to take place in the US, more people need to become participants in politics rather than spectators. And by this I mean making revolution a part of our everyday lives, not just something we watch on TV or a vote we cast for a politician.