Democracy Unchained: Rediscovering the Power of the People
This article contains the content from the 3/12/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!
“Imagine a real democracy – us, we, ours – where all votes are counted. The right to vote in fair electoral districts is guaranteed. Our representatives both in state legislatures and county legislatures and federal government and so forth are diverse.” —David Orr, author and professor
Democracy and its promise of equality have always been seen as a foundation for American politics. But do we really live in a democracy? What does that mean?
This week, we highlight thought leaders who are challenging how we define and perform democracy.
Democracy Unchained: Using “We the People” Power to Rebuild Government
Democracy Unchained: How to Rebuild Government for the People is a collection of essays by visionary political thinkers, in which they tackle our nation’s most pressing problems and provide solutions to revitalizing our government from the grassroots up. One of these contributors is K. Sabeel Rahman, Associate Professor of Law at the Brooklyn Law School and President of Demos, a “think-and-do” tank dedicated to equity and democracy. Following is Rahman’s essay from Democracy Unchained about how we can build a solid structure of democracy with our own moral values.
David Orr: How the History of Democracy Can Help Us Invent a New One
How do we fix a democracy that has strayed so far from the people it’s supposed to serve? Professor and author David Orr is calling on us, in this unique moment, to create a new one entirely. Orr draws from the warnings of Greek philosophers and the descent of the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany to understand the deficits of democracy today, and how we can fix them.
Special Event! The Spirit of Democracy: Re-imagining We the People
Join Bioneers co-founder Kenny Ausubel at the Washington National Cathedral on March 25. This evening of bipartisan hope for the future of democracy will feature leaders such as political commentator Van Jones, environmentalist Bill McKibben, and professor and author David Orr, as they come together to challenge the prevailing narrative that we are hopelessly divided.
More from Bioneers.org:
- Heather McGhee: A New “We The People” For a Sustainable Future | Heather McGhee is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy organization focused on political and economic equity. In this keynote speech, she explains how deep democracy is the only solution to the crises of inequality and climate change — and how we can achieve it.
- Terry Tempest Williams: The Open Space of Democracy | In this keynote speech, celebrated author Terry Tempest Williams inspires us to dig deeper than political rhetoric in our conversations about democracy. For her, the test of true patriotism is not what we are willing to die for, but what we are willing to give our lives to.
- Chief Oren Lyons: The Roots of American Democracy | Iroquois elder and global indigenous leader Oren Lyons describes the authentic origins of the U.S. Constitution in the ancient Iroquois “Great League of Peace.” He weaves the story of the Peacemaker and how leaders are raised and chosen, with decisions based on seven generations and women choosing chiefs.
- An Oil Spill Runs Through It: Corporate Power and the Sliming of American Democracy | In this podcast, constitutional attorneys Jeff Clements and John Bonifaz join with biologist and democracy advocate Dr. Riki Ott to explore new strategies to overcome big oil and big business to protect the Earth.
- David Orr: Is There a Future for Our Democracy? Why Everything Depends on the Answer | David Orr, an author and environmental studies professor, is one of the most influential political thought leaders of our time. In this keynote speech, Orr considers the challenge to free government that we’re witnessing today, and what we must do to reverse this downward spiral. What happens next is up to us.
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