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Ask Not What Democracy Can Do For You ...
Eight Diagrams: Tech Tools, Grassroots, Globalization, Democratization. Writer Wayne Yang notices that we often operate with simplistic impressions and generalize to
Wayne’s lengthy piece covers a lot of territory, adding an interesting multi-cultural perspective as well.
I want to expand the question about what democracy is. I say that what Democracy is about, is way bigger and far simpler than that. Here’s my contribution to the conversation that Wayne’s (rhetorical?) question invites:
It’s that simple. That’s the context in which we make the gifts of democracy to each other. It is a gift of trust that we make in each other and that we then abide by.
There’s something else about democracy that it is important to understand. There is no perpetual, indestructible condition of democracy. Democracy requires ongoing trust and deepening of social arrangements, economic practices, and civil conduct. Like trust itself—and faith, to which it is related—there is perpetual renewal and articulation in that dance by which democracy emerges.
To the degree we are unwilling to trust each other, we blind ourselves to our role in the nurturing of democracy and we undermine the institution itself.
There’s a lot more I could say, and I undoubtedly will. But not here now. I am going to leave this for comments and discussion and move along. I think I’ll also look for some appropriate readings in the work of Thomas Jefferson.
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