The Long Now Foundation presents Benjamin Barber: If Mayors Ruled the World. Democracy began in cities and works best in cities. Mayors are the most pragmatic and effective of all political leaders because they have to get things done. “The paramount aims of city-dwellers,” says Barber, “concern collecting garbage and collecting art rather than collecting votes or collecting foreign allies, the supply of water rather than the supply of arms, promoting cooperation rather than promoting exceptionalism, fostering education and culture rather than fostering national defense and patriotism.“Most of humanity now lives in cities, and cities worldwide connect with each other more readily than any other political entity. By expanding on that capability, Barber suggests, “Cities can make themselves global guarantors of social justice and equality against the depredations of fractious states. And they can become, as the polis once was, new incubators of democracy, this time in a global form.“A much-honored political theorist, Barber is author of Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism, and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World."
Benjamin R. Barber is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, as well as president and director of the international NGO CivWorld, and its annual Interdependence Day event, and distinguished senior fellow at Demos.
An internationally renowned political theorist, Dr. Barber consults regularly with political and civic leaders in the United States and around the world.