This is a long article about the democratic deficit in the United States, but its conclusion could be said to apply to us all:
” … It is time to start talking seriously again about a grassroots politics that aims to build a broad consensus, give priority to long-term face-to-face projects with physical communities offline, and recruit skillful and honest politicians to connect people to places where decisions are made – [Bernie] Sanders is one of them. We can use social media and the momentum built by his campaign for this, but the main goal should be to harness the unprecedented explosion of anger and hope into political actions that will bring tangible change in people’s lives.
We hear a lot about all kinds of experiments to address the democratic deficit in decision-making mechanisms – from direct action to digital democracy and more. But few talk about a more profound crisis: our lives are filled with alienation and isolation, our communities have been broken, and impersonal forms of social interaction are replacing personal ones. Meeting with other citizens outside our close circles is good for democracy. But we should be skeptical of impromptu mass gatherings and social media debates as the only places to make vital decisions that will affect our lives for years to come.
We need to develop democratic spaces that address common national and global challenges, but are grounded in local interactions and foster bonds among people in the physical world. New technologies can hugely improve our lives, but ultimately society is made of humans. The kind of human interactions we foster make all the difference in this world – and the next.”