American society is frayed at seams.We need to think about “citizen infrastructure”
Many Americans are blocked when banks and post offices are closed in the American countryside and flights to remote areas are expensive. After sleeping in the car, the man waits for a doctor at Remote Area Medical (RAM) Mobile to see him at dawn. Dental and Medical Clinic held in Olean, NY on June 10, 2017. Photo: Spencer Pratt / Getty Images Infrastructure has done what Thanksgiving is for American life in general for transpartisanness. The last and greatest hope that we all get together. For those who get stuck in New Jersey Transit in a tunnel under the Hudson River or feel uneasy when crossing a rusty Midwestern bridge, the need for a huge investment in infrastructure is self-evident. But that didn’t prevent Republicans from finding mistakes in Biden’s infrastructure plans. When their busy cultural war and “library ownership” schedule allow it, they make a slight opposition. More importantly, they are of all kinds, from crazy socialist heretics such as home care support (why wealthy people can easily help themselves?) To government-funded research. Attack the government for pushing the envisioned pet policy into the plan. Everyone knows, it just gave us something like the internet, so it’s very ineffective. It is true that the two central clichés of our political terminology today, “resilience” and in fact “infrastructure,” conceal the lack of legitimacy of actual public policy. But in reality, Biden’s plans are not ambitious enough in a way. It does not address the country’s declining civil infrastructure. Infrastructure is about connecting people. It allows us to reach others and they can reach. Not only roads, but post offices are a typical example. The Republican Cultural War rhetoric is that the main problem for “left-behind” people is the contempt of the liberal-cosmopolitan-bicoaster elite, who have nothing to do but ridicule the “real Americans.” I made it sound like. However, many people are left behind because they are difficult to reach and they are difficult to reach. Deregulation has made ticketing for flights to remote parts of the country terribly expensive. Even if there are buses and trains, they are infrequent and unsightly. Institutions such as community savings banks that leverage local knowledge continue to disappear, blocking people and reducing much of their local resources. Some of us fear that rebuilding a better physical infrastructure, and less importantly, better regulation, could be President Biden’s default political background noise. You can do more to overcome the division of the country than the kitch rhetoric of the community. But democracy itself depends on being able to connect with others. In addition, everyone has basic political rights (speech, assembly, association), but the impact of using such communication rights is doubled if resources and tools are available to disseminate opinions. To do. Yes, the infrastructure connects, but it does not guarantee consensus, not to mention the community. Social scientists emphasize that democracy requires citizens to unite in closer groups, build bridges between departments, and create mutual trust in the process. But democracy is not primarily about unity. This is intended to allow contention within the rule. Just because we have a good highway network doesn’t mean we all have to drive in the same direction (and for that matter, we need to transport the same number of people with us). Democratic infrastructure prevents conflicts, but it can also take very different routes. It certainly doesn’t determine them. Specifically, what does civil infrastructure mean? Democracy in the United States provided a great boost in the first half of the 19th century through the development of the media and political parties. In fact, these two important parts of the communication infrastructure for citizens were often the same. Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the vibrant political scene in the United States. He also said, “In a democratic country … many men who feel lustful and need to associate cannot distinguish each other and meet because everything is insignificant and unobtrusive from the crowd. I don’t know how. But let’s make the newspapers come and see the emotions and ideas that happened at the same time, but separately, and everything will soon rush towards this light. “Many In the case of party-owned newspapers, they defended certain doctrines that connect people. We are openly concerned about the ideas of partisan media (or, for that matter, openly partisan cable TV), but the media, and even the agenda media, are part of the democratic infrastructure. There is no denying that. One of the most visible signs of the decline of its infrastructure is the sad state of local journalism. Less local news reduces public participation and corrupts politics. To make matters worse, the resulting void is often filled with national news that can exacerbate polarization. Taxing large platforms and using funds to support local journalism, including citizen journalism, is one remedy. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently proposed a National Trust for Civil Infrastructure, similar to the National Endowment for Democracy. Local associations that promote dialogue can receive grants from public libraries and other spaces used by citizens. Suggestions can be extended to online public spaces. As we all know, today’s leading social media platforms, especially Facebook, are based on a “sedition capitalist” business model. “. Now there are good plans for public nonpartisan platforms and digital democratic infrastructure. It’s easy to think that these can replace a huge thing like Facebook with billions of users and their corresponding network effects. However, they may complement them with the appropriate space for civic interaction. Some scholars have also advocated public software, based on the public broadcaster’s model, to make citizens’ digital tools freely available. Therefore, one elephant remains in the room. Political parties, especially elephants with elephants. They are an important infrastructure and that is why well-functioning democracy regulates them tightly (sometimes even in the Constitution). In particular, they provide for democratic procedures and funding transparency within the party. Because the current Supreme Court is what it is-an active proponent of dark money and reliance on large donors-there are few opportunities to tackle campaign finance. However, pluralism within the party may be strengthened. After all, when a party turns into personality worship, as it happened to Republicans under Trump, there can be no critical loyalty in the tent: any criticism of that person is considered a betrayal. Jan-Werner Müller is a professor at Princeton University and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. His book “The Rules of Democracy” is published by Farah Strauss & Gillow and Penguins.