According to Benjamin R. Barber, director of Rutgers University's Walt Whitman Center for the Culture and Politics of Democracy, civil society (sometimes called the "third sector"), which has been dormant for a long time, is due for a revival of interest and energy. While governments and corporations have taken over as the movers and shakers in the modern world, those who are great believers in democratic struggle and social justice can join together in associated action in families, clans, churches, and communities.

On a philosophical level, Barber sees civil society as "the free space in which democratic attitudes are cultivated" — the domain where you and I can gather together as "we." This model will give citizens a chance to explore common ground, protect the labor market, support the arts and humanities, and develop national service programs.

In conclusion, the author makes it clear that two issues must be dealt with immediately: the continuing incivility of our political discourse and "the end of work" as evidenced by unemployment, under-employment, and disemployment.