Frances Moore Lappé is the co-author, with Adam Eichen, of the new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want. Among her numerous previous books are: EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want (Nation Books) and the acclaimed Diet for a Small Planet. She is also a YES! contributing editor.
To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help—not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a rich trove of such lessons.
February 1, 2019
As far back as 1835, perhaps our nation’s earliest and most astute observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, understood the power of the media. He described the press as “the chief democratic instrument of freedom.” But today our “instrument of freedom” seems to mean the freedom to enrich oneself privately, whatever it takes. How did we get to this sad state?
March 6, 2018
In fending off despair and effectively taking on democracy’s degradation, one insight has helped us a lot: that it’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit; rather, it’s a sense of futility that does us in. Homo sapiens evolved, after all, as doers and problem solvers.
February 14, 2018
In this tumultuous world, one thing seems certain: today’s dire threats to our democracy did not arise out of nowhere. Every culture thrives, or not, on whether its core narrative—the causation story we tell ourselves—enhances mutual gain or spurs division. And, the narrative driving today’s unfolding catastrophe feeds the latter.
January 18, 2018
People yearn for alternatives to industrial agriculture, but they are worried. They see large-scale operations relying on corporate-supplied chemical inputs as the only high-productivity farming model. Another approach might be kinder to the environment and less risky for consumers, but, they assume, it would not be up to the task of providing all the food needed by our still-growing global population.
January 12, 2018
If you’ve heard the term “net neutrality,” is it something you imagine only internet fanatics can grasp? Not at all. It simply refers to baseline protection ensuring that no internet service provider can “interfere with or block web traffic, or favor their own services at the expense of smaller rivals.” As such, it is integral to democratic dialogue.
December 13, 2017