Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Democracy Takes Hard Work

While sifting through my postings from earlier this semester I came upon something that I think really sums up some of my views on Democracy after our semester-long discussion of what democracy truly means in America. I've reposted it here, as I think it serves as a good reminder to us all whenever ''the going gets tough''and we feel discouraged.

"When we expect liberty and justice to appear miraculously, like fast food, without more rigorous forms of participation, definition, and sacrifice, we are like farmers who curse the dirt and pray for rain, but "want crops without plowing the ground. Yet some people are already plowing" (Stout 289-290).

This quote comes from Jeffrey Stout's book Blessed are the Organized Like so many of the authors we have been reading this semester (Putnam, Tocqueville, to name a few) Stout calls for the need for association and mobilization of the populace towards a grassroots democracy. This quote was a great analogy for me: it compared the democratic ideals we are striving for to farming, and reminded me of how it takes hard work in order to get somewhere. We cannot just expect that things will happen overnight and on an individual level we all need to put in the effort and sacrifice to see it succeed. However, first we must "plow the ground" and lay the foundation in order to see it succeed.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, Oh I wish we had also read Finney on religious revivals because he uses the same metaphor. In both cases I like the metaphor because it calls for human action while also depending upon things we do not control, gifts such as timely rain and enough sunshine. LDL