Democracy: Slow & Local 2-Pack
First program: Susan Clark - Slow Democracy
Conventional democracy is being eviscerated. Frustration is mounting with business-as-usual models dominated by centralized institutions. But there are new initiatives. Local solutions to local problems which incorporate decision-making processes that are inclusive, deliberative and citizen powered are growing increasingly popular. From control of utilities to water and school issues to resisting fracking, communities are asserting themselves. Instead of seeing politics as something remote and out of reach, there are other possibilities closer to home. Slow democracy allows for space to find common ground and compromise and for communities to make choices that are ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable. The old no prisoners attitude may be emotionally satisfying but often results in nothing more than bombast. Local citizen participation gives not just insight and knowledge in addressing community matters but also in a sense ownership of the outcomes.
Second program: Paul Cienfuegos - Ending Corporate Rule
Modern corporations trace their origins to the trading companies of imperial Europe more than three centuries ago. Their rise in power and influence has been a steady trajectory to the point where today they are the dominant institution in society. Governments have freed corporations from legal constraints through deregulation, and granted them even greater power through privatization. The Supreme Court has declared corporations are people and money is free speech. The latter has turned Congress into, as one commentator put it, “a forum for legalized bribery.” Many citizens feel that pleading to corporations is insufficient and that it is time to examine the nature of this artificial institution. Endless single-issue crisis-based activism, one grievance at a time does not address the core problem, which is the corporation itself. Is ending corporate rule an obtainable goal? How would it happen?
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