Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another World Is Possible!

This is the cry of many radicals, revolutionaries, and even progressives. But what is meant by that? In the US we have what is essentially a "Republic" where a very few make the laws for the many. This is supposedly what some people want to challenge, but most of us have not lived in a participatory democracy. The best we get are some forms of representative democracy.

Others wish for a democracy that better represents people, that is open to multiple-parties, that isn't influenced by corporate greed and avarice. That would be better, but would it be best?

There is an argument that the size of our society is too large for a participatory democracy. We don't know because it hasn't been tried. But it has been tried in large cities. One of the cities that is leading this as a possibility is Porto Alegre.

Within the structure of a republic style government, municipal government has become more representative in its system of budgeting. While far from perfect, this is a solid move toward community power. There was a movement in the US when there was a Socialist Party. This municipal socialism had an impact in some major cities in the US. The ideological and other forces limited this, but it shows that even in the US alternatives are possible.

How much democracy can we create in the US? In Albuquerque? Within our neighborhood associations, parent organizations, and other public spaces? The challenge is upon us more than ever with the Supreme Court giving corporations immense power over the political system. Only an engaged society will be able to deal with this.

Let's Dare to Practice Democracy!

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