Why mayors should rule the world: Benjamin Barber at TEDGlobal 2013

I like this idea. Though I’m sure the monied interests would quickly find a way to bog down anything with money, the fact is cities are far more honest than any other form of government.

TED Blog

“Democracy is in trouble,” announces political theorist Benjamin Barber as he makes his way onto the TEDGlobal stage. He continues: “We live in a  21st-century world of interdependence and brutal interdependent problems. Yet when we look for solutions in politics and democracy, we are faced with political institutions designed 400 years ago.”

What can one do about this asymmetry between contemporary challenges and archaic, dysfunctional political institutions? “My suggestion is we change the subject,” says Barber: It’s time to start talking about cities. Urban areas, after all, are the place in which civilization and culture were born, the home of public spaces of culture and protest. Think Zuccotti Park, Tahrir Square, Taksim Square, or even Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (This last mention raises a whoop from the audience.) “Those are the public spaces where we announce ourselves as citizens, participants, as people with the right to write our own narratives,” says…

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