Tuesday, August 7, 2012

#219 / Dreaming About Democracy

There are lots of ways to get acquainted with Noam Chomsky. You can click on this link, to read the Wikipedia biography, or try this page, which has lots of quotes, including the one reprinted above. I found that poster, by the way, on a Facebook site. It got me dreaming about democracy.

It is in the "public arena" where we can, if we so choose, debate and decide the shape and substance of our world. If we, ourselves, are not personally and passionately engaged in a process of debate, discussion, and decision, which is what we can properly call "politics," then someone else is telling us what we must do. That's not "democracy."

Democracy is, inevitably, a "political" process. If you don't love politics, you don't love democracy. It's just that simple.

Let's ask ourselves how often we are choosing to spend most of our time in that political arena where decisions about the future shape and character of our world are being determined? If we are not personally and passionately engaged in the political debate (as Chomsky is, as an example), we are ceding the powers of our creation to those "unaccountable institutions" that Chomsky lists.

The "corporations," Chomsky suggests. That rings a bell.

Or even our own government, when we don't run it.

Right now, we don't.

But I am dreaming about democracy.

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