"Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science...A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty."Although our townmeetings are poorly attended and our neighbors are often strangers, there is reason to believe that the Local Spirit has not fled America. The internet has, in many ways, revived our Local Spirit. The 2010 Elections saw the greatest turnover in American congressmen since the Great Depression. Political debate and idealism have returned to our conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
"I have no doubt that the democratic institutions of the United States, joined to the physical constitution of the country, are the cause of the prodigious commercial activity of the inhabitants. It is not engendered by the laws, but the people learns how to promote it by the experience derived from legislation."
"In America I met with men who secretly aspired to destroy the democratic institutions of the Union...but I know of no one who does not...place the advantages of local institutions in the foremost rank...The only nations which deny the utility of provincial liberties are those who have fewest of them."
Another example of Local Spirit on the internet is in Egypt, Tunisia, and Iran. Democratic revolutions have been coordinated as a result of Local Spirit through the internet. Moreover, I believe that this is only the beginning. Entrepreneurship, liberty, and solidarity will accelerate in the 21st Century as the Local Spirit of liberty sweeps across the world.