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The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website http://ecologyofdemocracy.org/.

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Best

Comments

MRaible's picture

Towards the end of chapter six the author begins to talk about decision making. The author basically says that when we make a decision, It is usually based on what we consider valuable. Like for instance, driving slow during the winter due to icy roads because our safety is valuable to us. Also, choosing between going into work early for someone or doing homework that is due at midnight and deciding upon doing your homework because you value your grades more. We all make decisions every single day. Every moment we live is a decision. whether people agree or not is completely up to them. "We all have to determine, given the circumstances, whether the decision we are making is right for us."  Although some of us do not always make the right decsions we can learn from them. It all comes down to this, we all have to eventually make decisions together as citizens. We all have to work together even if we disagree, work it out. We can all come to an agreement on something. We have to stop bashing eachother and being so hateful when we disagree with someones decision. We have to help eachother out. 

UMali's picture

I agree with the statement in the article where it talks about Americans who appear uninterested in politics and they then end up feeling disconnected from the world. For example, the Presidential election yesterday night. If someone did not have knowledge of what was said or what was happening they would not understand peoples reactions today. Whether that was being happy with the choice America made or feeling devasted and hopeless.

Nadeen Ali

UM Ahmed's picture

I agree, I think some people do not realize the importance of their vote or voice. Like we saw, it was such a close race that even a couple people's votes would have made a big difference. I also think our generation is the most important yet least involves in politics. I know not everyone will be interested in it, but I think its our right as citizens to at least know the important stuff to get us through important times. Very well said, great job! 

UM nanxiz's picture

I do not care what politics really is. Democracy is what most people are seeking, but is it true that democracy exists? Democracy is the upper class of democracy, ordinary people is difficult to achieve true democracy. Election on the surface of the two-party race, the general election of voters, reflects the greatest degree of public opinion, in fact, the introduction of any party candidates are the last representatives of the interests of the elite capital. As an ordinary person, just want to be happy life. Often times, war and killing are not what most of us want, but the decision of the ruler or the upper class. Democracy is not true democracy, a country is difficult to achieve true democracy. So I just want to have a peaceful environment, less war and economic crisis. So that the people really happy.

MRaible's picture

I myself am not very involved in politics. I choose not too due to lack of care. It is all just a big mess. Just like the voting of the president this Tuesday. Everybody is literally flipping out. Everybody is bashing and hating and it is just completely insane. I just do not understand and I really do not care to. I feel people are taking things way too out of hand and it is just absolutely nuts. 

 

UMali's picture

In this article, it talks about the human faculty for judgement. We make decisions based on our judgement of what we know of being right or wrong. We learn from our mistakes and then make future decisions on them. Whether that's driving slow in the snow or rain to not touching the stove while it is on. We humans do not learn our lesson from word of mouth and have to challenge it to be a lesson. 

Nadeen Ali

UMjarrah's picture

As humans we are constantly put at the crossroads between what is right and what is easy. In addition, as humans we have the ability to inspire others with our choices. I like to belive that if one is aware of the problem, one can solve the problem and in doing so one can learn simultaneously. 

Good Job

Ryan Jarrah

UMjarrah's picture

As humans we are constantly put at the crossroads between what is right and what is easy. In addition, as humans we have the ability to inspire others with our choices. I like to belive that if one is aware of the problem, one can solve the problem and in doing so one can learn simultaneously. 

Good Job

Ryan Jarrah

UMjarrah's picture

As humans we are constantly put at the crossroads between what is right and what is easy. In addition, as humans we have the ability to inspire others with our choices. I like to belive that if one is aware of the problem, one can solve the problem and in doing so one can learn simultaneously. 

Good Job

Ryan Jarrah

MMFuller's picture

According to the chapter, the two main problems with democracy are that people are on the "sidelines" of politics and that people do not always make informed decisions. I feel that many people are on the "sidelines" because they do not want to be involved in politics from the start. They either do not want to get into arguements about politics or they do not think that politics are in their best interest. They may even want to sit out of the whole politics idea because they feel that their opinions are not the popular belief. There are multiple reasons why people would want to avoid this. The other problem is that people don't always make informed decisions. Some make political decisions based off of what they hear from the media but the media does not show both sides of an issue. If a person does not fully know the facts or is not able to view something without bias, they will not be informed completely on the topic at hand. Today's society makes it hard to avoid misinformation and can make people want to sit out of politics.

UM nanxiz's picture

The United States is a country that emphasizes democracy and freedom. In this country, the news media also enjoy a loose and wide range of freedom. The media can call the president "liar", or they can be called "pig", they can snoop the privacy of all politicians, including the president. The reason why they have so much courage, mainly because of its enjoyment to some extent in the United States Constitution and the direct protection of the law. The United States media has always advertised its own objective, fair and ultra-partisan principle of independence, but in fact, whether newspapers and periodicals or radio and television, not only failed to get out of the shadow of politics, but monopoly capital and consortium politics publicist. They always put the so-called "national interest" rather than the interests of the people in the first place, and thus build its "political correctness" principle of the basic framework.

UM Carter's picture

I agree with the chapter that too often people are on the sidelines of the political system. People do not speak up or act out of fear or apathy. This should not be the case in our society. We should not fear speaking our opinions and we should be able to express our opinions without threating or harassing others. Personally, I have difficulty expressing certain opinions out fear of judgement or backlash. I tend to avoid talking about some difficult issues. We cannot have this happening as I am sure I am not alone in this, for in order for our society to function, we must voice opinions. We must also listen to opinions without overly strong negative responses. We cannot let what has happened in this election continue. We need to hear each other's differing opinion, agree to disagree, and compromise. Finding the middle ground is extremely important because that is where real positive change exists. The middle ground is where we can agree on what is best for all people, the common good. We must be preparing our citizens to make informed decisions, as well, as the chapter alludes to. I think a main reason why we have such difficulty with this is because of our school systems. Our school systems are not creating productive citizens who know how to make informed decisions. I think a big step this country needs to take is fixing our public school system.

UM jennings's picture

Ch.6 brought up some great points, two points that really stood out to is that the people need to start getting involved in the political system and that we need to start making well-informed decisions. Our role as a being a good citizen should include participating in government affairs. If we want to see a change in our communities we must speak up and have our voices be heard. As citizens, it also important to be well informed if we are going to participate. We must know what is best for the people. Citizens should not be stuck with a leader that is not for the people only because some citizens did not uphold their civic duty of participating and being well informed. 

MMbundy's picture

I believe this article brings to mind how quick most of society is to have an opinion and get involved in something they just became aware of the day before. We have a tendency to find an issue and immediately place the responsibility of that issue on a certain group or person, laying blame on them for the problem. We then firmly plant ourselves in our opinion--one that we very well may have just formed--and wage war on anyone we think is of a different opinion or outlook.

One of the problems with this tendancy is that we are often not informed. The things we take such a strong stance on are often opinions of others that we think sound good, or something that annoyed us for a moment and we are now against. However, we never look deeper into the issue and form our own opinions with solid logic behind them. The example of the woman witnessing a fist fight and reacting is something I find typical in our society. We are so caught up in the moment and our own emotions that we fail to step back and look at the bigger picture. But if we want to be effective for change on issues we find truly important, we cannot overreact about things that are not, or people will write us off and no longer take us seriously.

MMalkhater's picture

Reading this chapter make me think about the first time i came to USA, i was not involved with anything other than my school, because i had this bad idea from my hometown that the USA is bad, but than when i started to know the people and how friendly they are, i started to change my mind that everything is wrong from what i know. the school, the university and  the resturants. plus, i started to accept the life here in USA because its very different from what i knew. 

MMbundy's picture

I liked one of the points the article made: "the things critically important to our collective well-being are common to most everyone."

All too often we forget how similar we are to our neighbor. Everyone has the same goals in life: make a living, have people we love around us, and be happy. We just loose sight of what's truly important when we are preocupied with the little things we feel are threatened. But aren't the people you have life goals in common with more important than the minor things we are offended by? Take a step back from the situation and find what the most important to find where your priorities should truly lie.

MMochoa's picture

This is very true, we often focus more on the things that divide us than we do the things that bring us together. Eveyone says it and it seem its always true; we could al use a new perspective when faced with situation that challenge us. We all have so much more in common than we think, yet we allow the little things that make us different to separate us.

UM LaBombard's picture

Chapter six touched on some interesting points, especially considering all that's happened in the political world recently. In modern years, there seems to be a lack of cooperation and education among U.S citizens, specifically the younger generation. The country for the most part has been divided amongst a two-party system in which citizens have worried more about their own party's success rather than cooperation between both parties. If most U.S citizens were focused more on working together to fix problems, then the higher powers might follow suit and work together as well. By getting involved with the issues within the community, individuals can work together to change society for the better.

 

Mdula's picture

I remember this was why obama had such a hardtime getting anything through, with the house and senate being a republican majority they always voted aginst him simply because he was a democrate. I think I heard once that Washington was oposed yo parties for this very reason, they just fight and fight and fight. Now I suppose there won't be much fighting with the president, house and senate all being republican, but with nothing to even out the playing field some drastic things could happen. And frankly, that has me more than a little worried.

UM nanxiz's picture

The weakening of social cohesion has become a common problem facing the international community today. Globalization, international competition and the increase of global social mobility, the intensification of cultural and conflicts of interests, the multiplication of values, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the weakening of family ties have all contributed to the decline of social cohesion. The world is more connected than ever before, but people are more alienated.

 

UM jennings's picture

If we want to see a change in our communities we must get involved. We must all stand together to get our voices heard.  As members of the community we know what is best for ourselves, and so should the leaders that we elect.The leaders that we elect will represent what we stand for as a community. That is why our leaders need to be informed on what the community wants, and the community needs to be informed on what the beliefs our leaders uphold. We live in a country where we have the opportunity to elect our leaders and have a say in government, and we should not take that for granted by being lazy.

MMfelts's picture

I agree with you that people must get involved to see change. A lot of times I see that people tend to complain a lot whether it be in person or online and then not do anything to change what they are upset about. If people complain and then just sit around and be lazy nothing is going to change. If we want real change in our community people need to get involved and stand up for what they believe in to make some actual change.

UM Korhonen's picture

I completely agree with your post. The government and its citizens will never be on the same page if they do not communicate. If the citizens want their voice to be heard, they have to proclaim their proposal. If the government wants the support of its citizens, they too, have to be open minded. Without communication, the government equivalates to nothing. We are given the right of freedom of speech and should use that to our advantage.

UMThorn's picture

I would have to agree with you on this. Too many people complain, but do not act on their ideas for change. It is up to the people to make our concerns known to people in charge. We are the ones who have to live within our communitites why not help make a change for the better? Which starts with what you said by having well informed leaders who care to actually make a difference. 

MMalkhater's picture

the differnce between the questions of fact and questions of judgment are really amazing and the example is very great. this really happen in our life when we are tired from the school and we do not want to go anymore because of the hard, or the professor is kind of strict. why we judg before we know the fact? or why we decied to quiet before we know what is coming up in our life? 

UM Alkhater's picture

i liked the point " The Human Faculty for Judgment  ".  Because we always make decision in our life especially everyday, for example when we make the decision to study or to have fun, this decision will make  change in our future because its about 2 things that the people like to do. i think the most valuable lesson for me in this point  is that we have to make the right decision for ourselfs. 

 

 

 

UM Alkhater's picture

"Pride is a source of identity ".  everyone want to know his/ her identity because i believe that the pride is most important thing in evey person's soul so i think we all should be proud of our self and be together to be strong.  

 

Mdula's picture

Too true, I always feel the best thing a persson can do is know who they are and fully embrace it. It hard to be honest with yourself, and I always feel people who deny what they are never really get to live their life. Ofcourse knowing who you are/ what you can do and being proud of it can lead to good or bad situations. Look at Hitler versus Ghandi, both were very sure of what they were and went in completely oppisite dircections. If there is one thing we can leard from this, it's that a strong sense of identity is a very powerful thing.

UM2's picture

I agree with you ^^

UM Mrdeza's picture

Chapter six discusses some very good points about citizens coming together to solve problems. The author introduces a point or idea and then usually follows it with examples that seem close to home or relatable. This method of writing carried the chapter quite well in what the focus of the reading was. First, the author explained how citizens of democracies need to come together to solve problems that they face. One reoccurring idea that the author tries very hard to explain and explore is the lethargy of citizens. This is a very precarious notion. Many problems exist and while it is true that some problems can recover on their own, it is also true that other problems need action in order to be fixed. Everyday people can solve these kinds of problems that do not go away on their own. Citizens need to come together to fix such problems through teamwork which brings together more ideas and more resources to implement change. If the people do not fix these problems, then they will continue to exist and cause chaos.

The United States in 2016 is a great example of the sloth of society. People can identify many problems in the United States. Some problems are crippling poverty, incurable diseases, and a crumbling infrastructure. People see and experience these problems every day and yet do absolutely nothing. Even if someone has never had a terrible disease, they generally know of bad diseases that affect others. Even though people know of them and the suffering they cause, most citizens do nothing. The author provides an answer to this perplexing inactivity of the populace which is that most citizens are not directly affected by these problems and therefore do not care.