The Inward Work of Democracy

While this interview is about the United States, it is very instructive about democracy as a whole, which certainly, finds such grandiose concepts from the US point of view.

It is often understood now, that the ideas Americans have about their founding fathers are not exact and in this interview, Jacob Needleman, uncovers a few of those myths and speaks to what may be learned from a better understanding of these men.

The interview highlights a passage from Thomas Paine’s famous pamphlet Common Sense, written in 1776:

Some writers have so confounded society with government as to leave little or no distinction between them, whereas they are not only different but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness. The former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections; the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse; the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron; the last, a punisher. Society is a blessing. At best, government is a necessary evil.”

And that gives us just a taste of what this interview holds. . .


Credits: Tippett, Krista. “The Inward Work of Democracy”  On BeingAmerican Public Media.  June 28, 2012. 



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