With international press coverage focused almost entirely on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, few outsiders have grasped the scale of Egypt’s popular uprising, now in its third week. But massive demonstrations, and pitched battles between pro- democracy protesters and the regime’s security forces, are taking place in every corner of the country.
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