Only 180 years after Alexis de Tocqueville …

Newsweek has discovered that people don’t need government to address all of their problems.

Elsewhere, Americans have gotten tired of waiting for the federal and state governments to solve their problems. They’ve looked at the major issues affecting their communities—unemployment, environmental degradation, crime, aging populations—and they’ve decided to fix what they can with whatever resources they can find right now. If Washington can help, that’s great. If it can’t or won’t or just doesn’t, then corporate sponsors can sometimes be found to fill the gap. Indeed, CEOs at several dynamic corporations are offering ideas, expertise, and in some cases substantial funding. Add to that grassroots volunteers. Lots of volunteers.

Writer Christopher Dickey flubs a few notes within the rest of this brief article, but perhaps a little more study of Tocqueville’s concept of the “civil society” would help him develop a better understanding of the reasons why local, nongovernmental action tends to produce better results than those resulting from state dictates.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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