"We need campaigns that could flood our cities with democracy. They would present the history of democracy and allow for debates on the relationship between democracy and ethics, democracy and popular classes, democracy and economics. They would also focus on elections and the rights and obligations they imply."
: Paulo Freire, from p. 91 of PEDAGOGY OF THE HEART (New York: Continuum, 1997)
: How can we each bring this about in our neighborhoods?
: What other ways are there of strengthening the democratic life of a people?
*That's one thing you have to hand to the Founding Fathers: the relatively peaceful transition of political power and the seperation of powers. This is what has come to be seen as 'democracy.' However, democracy as a national political process (where the choices are between candidates from one or the other wing of the single corporate party - the Republocrats) is very different from democracy fullfilled.
Social movements (labor, civil rights, peace, etc.) are IMO the best possible expression of democratic sentiment. People need to perceive that there's something to push up against. Yet in a country like the US where a middle class exists which has the 'freedom' to consume goods and services, own homes, and pro-create, that isn't likely to come about on its own. People in the US seem to accept the 'democratic oligarchy' they've been handed with that same middle class operating as a buffer between rich and poor. No class can find no room for improvement other than to cut their taxes... for the middle class, so as to buy even more goods and services, bigger homes, more progeny... rinse. Repeat.
As Malthusian as this may sound, (IMO) things will have to get alot worse before they can really get any better. Now is the time to "...prepare for the coming struggle" as Lenin wrote in 1903. In his case, he didn't have to wait long at all for the revolution of 1905.* --K