Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Anglosphere Challenge

I've just begun reading The Anglosphere Challenge by James C. Bennett. It's one of 9 books I ordered recently and I'd like to share a couple of thought provoking quotes from the first chapter with you.
The institutions that most developed nations have inherited from the mid-twentieth century were created primarily from fear. Economic regulation is driven by fear of joblessness; medical insurance systems are driven by fear of disease and premature death; and state pension systems highlight the fear of impoverishment at the end of the working life. ... As these fears diminish, it is likely that people will question the high opportunity cost these systems carry, and be willing to forego the relatively minimal rewards they carry in return for a more open and flexible social system.

People who define themselves primarily as members of collective entities, whether families, religions, racial or ethnic groups, political movements, or even corporations, cannot be the basis of a civil society.

Democracy, modern market economies, and civic states are effects of strong civil society, not causes.

When civil society reaches a certain degree of complexity, democracy typically emerges.

The author says the anglosphere civil society is rooted in history that dates back before the Magna Carta. If he's right about civil society being the root cause for our progress and success, I think there are enormous implications for effecting political change, both here and abroad.


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