Dear openDemocracy reader
As openDemocracy looks forward to its second decade, please take two minutes to assess this message.
Soon after 9/11 attacks, when we were barely six months old, our founding editors argued that America might “try to impose by military force the unilateral global order it sought to establish through economic hegemony alone after 1989".
They warned of the dangers. Today Susan Richards co-edits our Russia section and Anthony Barnett our UK section. They helped to start openDemocracy, committed to a global conversation for openness, democracy and human rights. The debate launched after 9/11 made us a world brand and a valued source of great content.
Democracy does not have to be war conducted by (supposedly) peaceful means or a nightmarish majority tyranny. It can be more than Churchill's "least bad system". We believe fervently there can be a democracy of justice, liberty and human rights provided it is an open democracy. But we also know that to bring this about will require a leap of trust: a wager that wisdom, judgment and knowledge can be preserved when our lives and political systems become truly open.
We're asking you to make this wager with us.
And to show your commitment by donating to openDemocracy.
It is not just that we need the money – which we certainly do - it is that we want it to come from readers' donations.
Because this is how the democratic economy needs to work: you pay because you can, if you can, when you can, because it is valuable to you, or your work, and because if no one gives, openDemocracy will cease to be an open resource.
If you say to yourself "Others will donate, why should I?" the result will be that openDemocracy will not remain free. By showing your commitment to openDemocracy we can ensure our survival in a world buffeted by the tactical whims of Google and Microsoft and the political predilections of Rupert and James Murdoch.
You won't be wasting your money by backing openDemocracy. We are asking our regular readers to send us £50 or $100 or €100. Please do so now if you can.
With many thanks for you time and, I hope, for your support,
And best wishes for the new decade
Tony Curzon Price