- 2:01 pm - Wed, Oct 24, 2012
- 1 note
At Front Porch Republic, Susan Clark and Woden Teachout connect the Slow Food movement to a recent wave of innovations in local governance that some are calling slow democracy:
Paralleling slow food’s push for authenticity in what we eat, slow democracy calls for firsthand knowledge of the local decisions that matter to us. Just as slow food encourages chefs and eaters to become more intimately involved with the production of local food, slow democracy encourages us to govern ourselves locally with processes that are inclusive, deliberative, and citizen powered.
Why is slow democracy necessary in the first place? The authors continue:
[S]low democracy observes that we have moved increasingly toward centralization and privatization of public resources and decision making. In the name of efficiency, we often give only lip service to citizens’ wisdom, and as a result, we wind up with unrepresentative, unsustainable decisions and a discouraged, democratically anemic citizenry…
Slow democracy presents a paradigm shift: instead of seeing politics as something that is national, Washington-based, and out of reach, we can see the real possibilities at home.
We’ve been talking about the utility of voting recently. Presidential politics are not unrelated to the realization that it seems as if the most effective voting we can do is on the local level.
Slow democracy, like slow food and slow money, necessitate a certain level of privilege—enough income to pay for more expensive local food over imported food, enough time to attend local democratic processes like town hall meetings and civic groups. But it is another instance of a trend back to the small, local, and collective in which Wonkistan is so very interested.