The Big Picture and Tools for Action
[A]ctive liberty, the principle of participatory self government, was a primary force shaping the system of government that…[our Constitution] creates.
—Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
Today’s problems are too deep and interconnected to be solved from the top-down. Solutions require the ingenuity, experience and values of all of us. That’s the insight shared by more and more regular citizens across the planet. They’re letting go of the failing notion that democracy is merely a set system of government, something done to us or for us—what we call Thin Democracy. They are saying by their action that democracy is what we do!
The transition is underway. Democracy is becoming a way of life in our communities, schools, workplaces and more. It is an enlivening culture in which the values of inclusion, fairness, and mutual accountability show up in a wide range of human relationships. So—and here’s the vital part—its values apply just as much in economic life or in cultural life as in political life. And that means we don’t have to leave the best of us at home — our values, our creativity, our voice — when, for instance, we enter the workplace.
We call it Living Democracy because it is about the way we live together: In essence it means infusing the power of citizens’ voices and values throughout our public lives and removing the power of money from governance. Rest assured, Living Democracy isn’t a new fixed “ism,” blueprint, or utopian end-state. It continually evolves, incorporating new experience.