Why democracy is a long, hard, slow business

Photo credit:   lynnepettinger

September 26, 2016 // By: Marc Stears

NEF's Chief Executive Marc Stears writes for the New Statesman:

"Too many of us have learned to measure our democratic impact in retweets and Facebook Likes. Others mistake the immediate satisfaction of a march or a rally for the action required to sustain change. Still others profess to believe that the favoured device of dictators and demagogues over the centuries – the plebiscite – is somehow a sign of democratic health.

"None of this is democracy. Democracy is a long, slow, hard business. It requires sacrifice and virtue. It requires listening to the views of others and it demands an acceptance of the necessity of difficult choices. It requires, above all, commitment to forging a common good out of the disparate and varied material of our social and economic lives, a good that recognises the worth of everyone whatever their differences. If we don’t do this, we don’t do democracy."

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Democracy & Participation

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