“Democracia real ya” (“real democracy now”). This “Ya" in fact concentrates all the revolutionary potential of this magnificent mobilisation: we want change now, don’t try to put us to sleep with your promises of a better future; we begin to impose this change now, by the struggle here; this struggle is hard but a source of intelligence, joy, dignity here and now; it opens the door to another possible world now since yes, it already exists, in negative form, as the opposite of the current world.The author examines the significance of the current rallying cry in the Spanish cities and towns and its demand for system change. The people in the streets see clearly that the existing system is leading to more social and environmental destruction.
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