Good government, so necessary to the new society, is notoriously difficult. In many nations the warlord phase is back. These quasimilitary dictatorships are, on the whole, self seeking and conservative, with little concern for the future, or for individuals. The ‘war against terror’ is causing even the ‘democracies’ to become more secretive, authoritarian and restrictive, to give financial priorities to military and security purposes, and abandon hard won legal and human rights.

Is anything better possible? Yes, but it won't be easy, and again it can only come from community insistence, community initiatives, and more direct participation by individuals in the political process. Many parliaments accept petitions, ...

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