I like the defunct American Progressive party. It had a populist agenda, combined rational arguments with good intentions, and had their movement survived it might have fostered direct democracy.
I’m more of a liberal on social issues. It’s said that ‘All truth passes through 3 stages,’ and when I study history I’m inclined to believe that whatever encounters the heaviest resistance today is likely to be accepted as common sense tomorrow. It’s impossible not to be somewhat blinded by the spirit of one’s time. But I still try to keep an open mind when I hear ideas that haven’t been fully developed and articulated, because I want a glimpse of what the future will hold after I’m dead.
I feel that a history of risks and experimentation, will guide us to a better model of governance. Combing through the past to call attention to buried truths is an important job for historians. I just hope they can have a critical and unbiased eye for the rest of us.
I’ll give a special shout out to Sparta and Athens for having fascinatingly unique governments and cultures, which have probably not been replicated anywhere else. A little reading on them and the timeless rivalry between the oligarchy and the democratic state can keep your mind occupied for days.
The Pericles Funeral Oration is a beautiful place to start. His speech was a defense of Athenian democracy and her values during the Peleponesian war. (Abraham Lincoln copied it at Gettysburg.)
Meanwhile today, Athens has hit rock bottom….