"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
"The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy.
Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century.
We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.
Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience."
Pachamama Alliance’s three-fold focus – on sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment – depends on a functioning democracy with access to clear and factual information and an underlying commitment to the shared well-being of all citizens.
The increasingly frayed fabric of our democracy undermines our power to bring about the “world our hearts know is possible” (in the words of author Charles Eisenstein).
All of the clarity and passion we bring to the environment and to social justice issues can help us become more effective active watch-dogs of our democracy... The first step is to move past anxiety, become informed, and rediscover the power of people – ourselves – working together to bring about change.
(Excerpt from "Democracy, Coronavirus, and the Pachamama Vision" by Joyce Herman.)
The Reclaiming Democracy group seeks to increase awareness of movements undermining our pluralistic, democratic society as well as the countervailing movements and organizations which protect and cultivate an inclusive society that does not tolerate bigotry and hate.
The threat of authoritarianism has not diminished since Pachamama Rochester programs warning prior to the election. Historian Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom said recently on CNN: “If we’re not prepared for the attempt for people to take power undemocratically in 2024, then we’re just at this point pathetically naive.”
Resources about preserving democracy in America
Here are some valuable materials to get you started:
Heather Cox Richardson’s daily blog, Letters From an American, is an essential one-stop daily resource for staying well informed.
The Weekly List: experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
New resources :
Resources for confronting antisemitism (NEW) - a list of articles, podcasts, books, and other resources
Why Antisemitism Should Be Everyone's Concern (NEW) - a blog post by Joyce Herman, Dec 2022
"Democracy is not a spectator sport" (PDF) - an article in the Democrat & Chronicle, Sept 24, 2022