Democracy

Fabulous and fanciful Persian warrior, which I photographed in Iran, in Shiraz, I believe, Dec. 2016.

Monsters in My Dreams

Two weeks into the new regime, I am losing sleep. Monstrous ideas slouch themselves into the news and social media and thence into the worries that sleep is supposed to help one forget.  I’m fighting monsters in my dreams.  No doubt I am not alone.

The political economy we call democracy has never been perfect, never will be perfected.  It has always needed work to keep it alive.  Ordinary decent people need to work for it and keep it alive. That’s an old idea that John Dewey picked up about a century ago and rephrased for his time.  We need to renew it again.

The other morning at the gym I heard a woman tell her friends that everybody should calm down. Everything would be fine. That’s the worry: ordinary decent people taking democracy for granted.

“Tyranny does not begin with violence; it begins with the first gesture of collaboration.  Its most enduring crime is drawing decent men and women into its siege of the truth.”  Evan Osnos, “Visionaries: Xu Hongci” New Yorker Dec. 19 & 26, 2016.