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Making Democracy Work
It's A "Wicked" Problem

The mess we are in has many roots, many causes operating over a long period. The nature of our current situation is difficult to describe with any rigor. Pretty much nobody really understands where we are exactly, how we got here, and, most critically, how we can move ourselves to a better place.

A "wicked" problem, as defined by Wikipedia, is "a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize." Another definition, Wikipedia continues, "is a problem whose social complexity means that it has no determinable stopping point. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems."

That's a pretty good if somewhat abstract description of our democracy problem. A working democracy has dozens of supporting elements, and a failing democracy may be falling victim to dozens of weaknesses, a kind of death of a thousand cuts.

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