Five stars to your article, professor Thomas S. Harrington. Excellent piece.
Yet, I feel your view needs expansion: you focus your critique on laissez-faire Americans, of course due to the recent political developments; I agree on this issue, many, but not all, have become indifferent to what their government is doing home and abroad, as long as they are not the victims. However, such indifference includes a bigger number of people; it has become a way of life also in Europe.
I am a Dane living in Africa. I have great difficulty observing how the people of my birth country embrace political opinions and elect governments that happily engage in “the war on terror,” that have little compassion for the victims from these wars, that have racism and anti-Muslim sentiments on their agenda. I have observed that many of my fellow Danes now have become hateful. That is not the Danes I once knew. I find it a painful development.
I trust this “slippery slope” relates to the values of Modern democracy. People have been taught by the domineering “authorities” (and regretfully accepted without questioning) only to involve themselves in politics as voters, and not engage actively in politics otherwise. However, little do we realize that “representative democracy” does not work at all. It is a reality that nobody has the ability to represent anybody else in all aspect of their lives and values. You can only feel, think and choose for yourself; you cannot decide on behalf of any other individudal especially not someone you have never met.
We will have to sit down and communicate and make agreements with each-others in order to know what each needs, wishes and prioritizes. I call it face-to-face democracy. In my opinion, it is the only organization that works as a democracy. It can only function in smaller groups and by delegating the current centralized economic and decision making power to smaller decentralized geographical areas. The huge central federations and its top heavy power positions will never work for us all. These powerful people dine and wine with the wealthy ones, they never talk to a poor person, and they have no clue how the average person lives.
I therefore suggest we work to dismantle all huge political and economic coalitions such as EU and USA, and create smaller national units, much smaller. The movement is already starting: Some people in Catalonia want to exit from Spain, people in Scotland want to exit from Great Britain, it is a reality that Great Britain will exit from the EU. I read that also groups of people in California suggest their state exit from the USA and become its own independent democratic nation. I believe this is the way to go.
We can then start talking together, get to know each other and our differences - discuss what choice is best for all, rather than what is convenient for the individudal political representative. In this way, we can reclaim our human compassion and relearn the feeling of community. It can end individualism, selfishness and the violence such values entails. It will improve a quality of life for society and nature because when people have to live inside the environment they also have to life from, they will care for it.
I have great trust in the human ability and I think that we can overcome all political and economic domination, which I perceive as being the outcome of Modernism. No singular human being can handle so much power that we freely delegate to individudal leaders. Conclusively, we need to end representative democracy, one step at the time, starting by limiting delegation of power to a minimum.