"Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."
Reinhold Niebuhr in The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness
We all must remember one thing: that civil movements create change. We need to be involved in these movements, whether they be environmental, anti-corporate, animal rights, or any other progressive cause. In this way we have managed many times to create change: women's right to vote, civil rights, saving endangered species, cleaning up polluted rivers -- the list is impressive.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, but we need to remember that all of these [economic] systems rest on the compliance of millions of ordinary people like you and me. If we withdraw our consent, if we stop feeling isolated and helpless and start reaching out to friends and neighbors who feel the same way, then we have enormous power.
One of the key ways these institutions take away our power is by making us think our voices are small and worthless. It's an important political and spiritual act to say, "My voice is worth something." We have to take civic responsibility and not be stopped by fear or a sense of powerlessness. Democracy is like a horse: you can't keep it healthy when it's locked in the barn; you have to exercise it regularly.