William Ayers on Democracy


Fiercely Interdependent
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In a farmhouse, on a farm. With goats.
This is an important article. I hope that many people, of whatever political persuasion, take five or ten minutes to read it and seriously consider what Bill Ayers has to say about civic engagement, struggle for justice and peace, and what it means to be a responsible adult citizen of a democracy.

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been -- In These Times

From the article:

In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders—and all of us—ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas. Lacking that simple and yet essential capacity to question authority, we might still be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings today.


History is always in the making. It’s up to us. It is up to me and to you. Nothing is predetermined. That makes our moment on this earth both hopeful and all the more urgent—we must find ways to become real actors, to become authentic subjects in our own history.
Don't know much about William Ayers. But it seems his thinking on some things is somewhat peculiar. For one, he evidently feels that if an act of political violence is purposeful then it's not terrorism. By that criteria, 9/11 was not a form of terrorism.

America has a great legacy of free/anti-authoritarian thinkers, especially the likes of Henry David Thoreau who lived a quiet and uneventful life. One time he spent a night in jail when he had refused to pay his taxes. That's about as remarkable as it got. For the most part he didn't bother other people, let alone make nail bombs.