“…Peter Dreier: Do you see any hopeful signs that America is ready to challenge the plutocracy and restore more democracy?
“Bill Moyers: The most encouraging sign is that 71 percent of the public believe the system is profoundly corrupted by the power of money. Ninety-six percent of the people believe it’s ‘important’ that we reduce the influence of money. Yet 91 percent think it’s ‘not likely’ that its influence will be lessened. Think about that: People know what’s right to do yet don’t think it can or will be done. When the public loses faith in democracy’s ability to solve the problems it has created for itself, the game’s almost over. And I think we are this close to losing democracy to the mercenary class.
“There are people fighting back—that’s encouraging. Bill de Blasio’s victory in New York came about because long years of work by community organizers and advocates laid the groundwork for fighting back against the policies that rolled out the hospitality mat for billionaires and plutocrats while increasing the number of poor people.
“What today’s activists—the low-wage workers fighting Walmart, the immigrant rights activists, the Moral Monday activists in North Carolina, those fast-food workers who have stirred admiration and collegiality among serfs at large, and many more—have in common is a conviction once expressed by Robert La Follette: ‘Democracy is a life, and requires daily struggle.’ If it weren’t for them, I would despair. There’s a scene in Conrad’s The Secret Agent when the anarchist grows despondent over whether even the detonation of a bomb might arouse Londoners: ‘What if nothing could move them?’ he asks. It’s the people who are doing the nonviolent organizing at the grassroots that make me think there’s still hope.”
from An Interview with Bill Moyers by Peter Dreier