A Lesson in Citizenship and Politics


This is a worthy perspective from someone who has suffered greatly under the authoritarian regime of Vladmir Putin in Russia. Interviewing with Lawrence O’Donnell, Nadia Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot makes comparisons with Trump’s urges toward discrediting the media to what she experienced in Russia as Putin was taking the first steps in building his authoritarian regime.

She was most impressive, though, toward the end of the interview when she articulated her commitment to political joy and engaged citizenship, even in a country that was routinely putting her and other members of her band in jail. We could all take a lesson from her. She makes the point that her attitude is drawn from America of the late 60’s, where engaged citizenship was coupled with “joy” and “fun.” Worth watching to the end…

Question: Can our citizens regain the “joy” of political engagement — a feeling that citizenship participation is not boring, but vital and essential as part of their day to day lives?
Or have we become so addled by cynicism and hyper partisanship, and so separated from each other by our information systems, that this is beyond us? 

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