Frances Moore Lappe spoke to the Jamaica Plain Forum in 2007. She presented her latest book, Getting A Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad, and addressed the topic “When Hope Triumphs Over Fear: An Invisible Global Revolution.”
In 2006 an energized electorate seemed poised to reassert ownership of the democratic process. Since the elections, however, polls show that citizens confidence in government has resumed its downward trend. Far from waning, disillusion and disengagement continue to spread.
Why is this happening, and how can we stop it? Frances Moore Lappe, author of sixteen books, including the 1971 three-million-copy bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, has some suggestions.
Distilling decades of experience, Lappe begins from the simple notion that we create our world according to our ideas. From this understanding, she suggests that there is a central fault with America’s prevailing model of democracy: while democracy seeks to spread power broadly, the wealth-driven market concentrates power. This contradiction lies at the heart of what the author calls a living democracy.
Lappe reveals an emerging trend that stands in marked contrast to a living democracy. She explores developments from clean election initiatives to fair trade economies, from evolving standards of corporate accountability to emerging forms of citizen involvement. These are not isolated victories, Lappe submits, but signs of a burgeoning new worldview that empowers individuals and emphasizes community. She calls this new alternative a living democracy and challenges us all to find entry points for involvement with this historical breakthrough.