The antidotes to populism: stoicism and civil society

Thomas R. Wells (3QD)

Something has certainly gone wrong in how we do democracy. We have forgotten what it is and how to do it. Specifically, we have gotten the idea that democracy consists in our right to command the government to give us what we want, when actually it is collective self-government. Democracy is not a reality TV-style contest in which the people are spectators and voters on who gets to win the prize of ultimate power. Rather, it is a relationship to ourselves and our fellow citizens that we develop and practise in our daily lives.”

And that’s where we are now. A society of millions of strangers, all alone together in front of our televisions and twitter feeds, shivering with indignant rage.”