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A Declaration of Interdependence

A Declaration of Interdependence

The Science of Democracy

(p.13) 1 A Declaration of Interdependence
After the Protests are Heard
Sharon D. Welch
NYU Press

Our context is one of growing threats, resilient critique, and deeply rooted alternative forms of inclusive and expansive social life. We are now experiencing a rise of authoritarianism in the United States that is as dangerous as the anti-Communism of the McCarthy era of the 1950s, potentially as deadly as the eradication of basic political and human rights for African Americans after the Reconstruction period following the civil war. We are also witnessing a resurgence in authoritarianism not seen in Europe since the rise of fascism in the 1930s. What is missing in much of the literature on authoritarianism is a recognition that what fuels interdependent creativity and expansive civic engagement is not emancipated individualism but openness to the new grounded in the solidity of the same. The ‘same’ is generative connections between adults and youth, and community practices of resilience, acknowledging and learning from both mistakes and successes. This book is meant to enable readers to take on this challenge with honesty and creativity, aware of the particularity of our experiences as members of different racial and social groups, and as members of different economic classes. First, we must be honest, acknowledging the scale of racist exploitation and its ongoing impact. Will we learn from the past and present structures of white exploitation and violence? Will we learn how to check these practices in the present?

Keywords:   authoritarianism, activism, polarization, generative interdependence, Karen Stenner, Hetherington and Weiler, Sinn and Hayes, white violence, child rearing values, Moral Foundations Theory

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