Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means encouraging …“civic demobilization,” conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy. ~Sheldon Wolin from Democracy, Inc.
If we remain faithful to the cause of “democracy” as we know it, will everything turn out alright? Maybe? But maybe not. According to David Frum and others, we are beginning to experience what to the average mind appears as the unexpected fragility of democracy and democratic systems. Most of us feel this vulnerability as a “wrongness” within the current sociopolitical situation. To be sure, we differ on what is wrong and how to fix it, but most of us feel that our society is “off” in some way. Regardless of our current sociopolitical perspectives, Sheldon Wolin’s notion of “inverted totalitarianism” is most likely at the root of our troubles. Whether by its direct effects or the structures necessary to sustain it, our society has been skewed in various ways, skewed away from the revolutionary Thomas Paine’s notion of “democracy” and “freedom”.
In defiance of the FCC
On March 5, 2018, Washington State governor Jay Islee signed into law some bold legislation – HB2282: entitled “Protecting an open Internet in Washington State”. In direct defiance of the abolition of net neutrality by the Federal Communication Commission or FCC, Washington State became the first state in the Union to defy what some consider the corporate takeover of the Internet at the behest of the United States federal government. Other state governments are resisting the FCC by warning Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) that no state government business will be conducted with companies that do not comply with former net neutrality rules. While appeals attempting to restore net neutrality on a national level are already in place, even if such a restoration is upheld by the Senate, the House of Representatives is not likely to reverse the FCC’s December 14th, 2017 decision. Armed with the knowledge that the vast majority of Americans (including most Washingtonians) favor net neutrality and anticipating the aftermath of the FCC ruling, Washington State and an increasing number of municipalities have mobilized to counteract the federal government’s seeming willingness to defy the will of the People.
If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What is meaning? How does any definition we choose relate to EveryDayLife?
While researching our burgeoning topic “Who We Are” and the general concept of meanings in our lives, we came across this post from November of 2012. It speaks personally to the question of meaning in a way no theory can. As you read the heart felt words of a “helper”, consider the question we asked last week: Is the world better today because you are in it? (more…)
Introduction to Part II
We began this journey with the Sophia Burns article on the movie, The Last Jedi. Uncharacteristic for the Star Wars series, the general message was curiously populist—that people cannot rely on leaders or grand heroic figures to “fix things”. We must rely on ourselves. In this second segment of Inside-Outside, we consider the driving forces within us and our collective experience as these forces impact our ability to choose. Toward the end of the article, a simple exercise is presented—an exercise which, if employed diligently, could revolutionize our daily lives. (more…)
…a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
~ Lao Tzu
Part I: Introduction
Sometimes we need to go back to basics. The proverb above is ancient (that is, “old”). The aphorism’s “classic” truth about a journey’s beginnings is not diminished by the age of the phrase. The idea is timeless. Yet to an alarming extent, our modern society eschews things “old” as unimportant, lacking worth. We do so as a component of our own demise. Perhaps we should begin to re-examine some of those “old” ideas that have provided strength and resilience in EveryDayLife.
“Human freedom is not freedom from conditions,
but freedom to take a stand and to face whatever conditions
might confront [us]” ~ Viktor Frankl
Remember the nomadic Giusepi Spadafora, the Tea Man? Instead of going west last fall, it turns out, the Tea Man and Edna Lu (the traveling Tea Bus) went south. You can read a detailed account of what he has been up to the last few months on his blog.
Death of Democracy
Part IV: What is Democracy
What is this thing we call “democracy”. Just as once there was some general consensus about the nature of truth—facts in the public sphere—we once believed we shared a relatively common meaning of the word “democracy”. One of the reasons we (both in the U.S. and internationally) do not agree on how our governments should operate is that while we might call our form of government “democratic”, that is, reflecting the basic principles of democracy, we do not necessarily agree on the set of principles that constitute such an idea. When we use the phrase “death of democracy”, we might not be talking about the demise of actual “democracy” at all. In fact, we might be talking about something considerably more pervasive, profound and, if lost, catastrophic for American society.