Monday, May 19, 2008

"Moyers on Democracy" - by Bill Moyers

[Thanks to Star Vox for this post] Submitted by Star Vox on Sun, 05/18/2008 - 9:41pm.

If you are interested, I recommend Green's Air America Radio interview with Moyers (from this weekend).


The following is an excerpt from Moyers on Democracy by Bill Moyers (Doubleday, 2008).


    Democracy in America is a series of narrow escapes, and we may be running out of luck.

    The reigning presumption about the American experience, as the historian Lawrence Goodwyn has written, is grounded in the idea of progress, the conviction that the present is "better" than the past and the future will bring even more improvement.

    For all of its shortcomings, we keep telling ourselves,

    "The system works."

    Now all bets are off. We have fallen under the spell of money, faction, and fear, and the great American experience in creating a different future together has been subjugated to individual cunning in the pursuit of wealth and power -- and to the claims of empire, with its ravenous demands and stuporous distractions.

    A sense of political impotence pervades the country -- a mass resignation defined by Goodwyn as "believing the dogma of 'democracy' on a superficial public level but not believing it privately."

    We hold elections, knowing they are unlikely to bring the corporate state under popular control. There is considerable vigor at local levels, but it has not been translated into new vistas of social possibility or the political will to address our most intractable challenges.

    Hope no longer seems the operative dynamic of America, and without hope we lose the talent and drive to cooperate in the shaping of our destiny.

    [Ironically, the next election's theme could be: Hope vs. Fear!]


    [I am looking forward to reading the new book by Moyers. Here is an especially interesting excerpt which emphasizes the growing inequality in America. The link has a longer excerpt from the book.]

    Edward R. Murrow told his generation of journalists: "No one can eliminate prejudices -- just recognize them."

    Here is my bias: extremes of wealth and poverty cannot be reconciled with a genuinely democratic politics.

    When the state becomes the guardian of power and privilege to the neglect of justice for the people as a whole, it mocks the very concept of government as proclaimed in the preamble to our Constitution; mocks Lincoln's sacred belief in "government of the people, by the people, and for the people"; mocks the democratic notion of government as "a voluntary union for the common good" embodied in the great wave of reform that produced the Progressive Era and the two Roosevelts.


n.b. air-ono: The system is working.

Moyers: 'Democracy in America Is a Series of Narrow Escapes, and We May Be Running Out of Luck'


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]