“Many people think democracy depends on an informed electorate,” he noted in a recent conversation with National Civic Review contributing editor Albert Dzur. “To be informed they should deliberate together—the mode exemplified by the New England town meeting. I think that kind of associational activity is important but relatively rare. I don’t think Tocqueville was thinking about associations that were deliberative, and I don’t think there were very many of them.” Most associative life, McKnight suggested, is built around groups of people who come together because they have an affinity. Their focus is less often on “what to do” than “how to do it.”
Over the years, John and Peter have hosted online conversations with community-building pioneers as their guests. These conversations originally appeared on John and Peter’s Abundant Community site.