Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Robert Reich on Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy

As the day goes on, and in case some readers think I am overstating the case for the serious threats to democracy represented by groups like The Family (and its Catholic counterpart Opus Dei), I'd like to draw attention to an article that has just appeared at Alternet.  It's Robert Reich's "Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy." 

Reich argues that more and more decisions that should be made democratically "are being shunted off somewhere to a few people who make them in back rooms."  To be healthy, democracy requires 1) that important decisions be made in the open, 2) that the public has an opportunity to debate them, 3) and that those who make the big decisions be accountable to the public.  

The modus operandi of groups like The Family--their secrecy; their behind-the-scenes maneuvering; their disproportionate influence on all of us through highly placed allies in the government--these aspects of The Family and similar theocratic organizations is deeply troubling.  It should be of concern to all of us who care about the future of democratic institutions.