only choice. It reminds us that, for 2,500 years, there has been an alternative. This alternative is real democracy.

This new vision uses the honest language we need for political understanding. The most basic political distinction of all is between oligarchy (rule by the Few), on the one hand, and democracy (rule by the people), on the other. Aristotle, the famous philosopher, recognized this basic division in the 4th century BC. He knew that the Greek word for the revolutionary new kind of government the Athenians created, demokratia, means, in Greek, that the people (demos) rule (kratia). But Aristotle, a teacher of the warrior king, Alexander the Great, was not a democrat. Starting a long tradition of academic confusion (and flattering service to the Ruling Few), Aristotle argued that, to get the best government, oligarchy has to be added to democracy.

However—in practice—this mix is impossible. The Few and the people can never rule together. Either the Few rule or they do not. Either we, the people,

rule or we do not. The choice between oligarchy and real democracy is a choice between real and incompatible alternatives. This is the most important political choice of all. Only we can choose democracy. The Few will never do it for us.

The Greek word “kratia” in “demokratia” means both “rule” and “power.” The Vision of Real Democracy offered here can release the people power that we need to make the people rule of democracy a new kind of modern government, right here, right now, in the 21st century. In our own communities around the world, each and all of us—using our free and equal political power as rulers— can make the quality-of-life decisions and the life-and-death decisions that are essential for our Common Good. Then we will have, as never before, the dignity of every man— and every woman, and every child.

It is the purpose of this Manifesto to reveal “the real truth of our lives and our societies” by showing: