Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ A Forthcoming Documentary Examines How Civic Life in America Is a Matter of 'Join or Die'

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone, asks in anew documentary, "What makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis?" Then, it poses a call to action: "What can we do about it?" The answer is in the title: The places that have better government are the places that have a long history of social networks and social capital," Putnam says. He adds in another clip, "Organization—connections with other people—is the only way you get big change." There is certainly something to this - you can't create change without being connected. But the urge to join - to become a part of an in-group - can be damaging as well as useful, setting up social governance as though it were a team sport where winning matters more than good government.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 01:12 a.m.

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