While Democracy Cafe is the name of our nonprofit, it’s also the name of a specific inquiry initiative of ours.

And it’s really cool that it’s catching on.  The latest new group has started in Sebastopol, California.  Another one recently got underway in England.

But I guess it’s not so surprising this is catching on. There is great concern about the state and straits of open societies these days.  Great concern that open societies are closing up. Making it more daunting than ever for societies that are closed to receive the succor they need from relatively open ones to take a stab at opening up themselves.

Makes it more daunting for those in open societies who really care to keep fighting the good fight, sometimes.

History has shown that the very democratic mechanisms meant to keep open societies open, and to open even more, can be used by demagogues and those in their grip to close them.

Hopefully our Democracy Cafe initiative is one modest way to stem that tide. People all of a sudden sure are interested in it, as well as our other society- and mind- and heart-opening signature initiatives — Constitution Cafe, Declaration Project, Socrates Cafe, Philosophers’ Club — all of which we do on a volunteer basis, with no grant funding of any sort, relying instead on the generosity of individuals.

Hopefully.