Others might be more inspired by American democracy if the US were widely seen to be a just and tolerant society and its leading politicians were not loudmouthed xenophobes.
The value of democracy needs to be restated and defended, rather than presumed. In doing so, there is value in adopting a more tempered stance, one that understands its worth but also its flaws.
Do outdated fantasies of anarchism simply play into the agendas of the rich and privileged? Nuit debout in Paris, 2016.
Today’s anarchists should give up the fantasy of 'abolishing the state'. That simply plays into the agenda of the rich and privileged.
‘Ownness’ is a form of freedom that profanes institutions and acts as though power no longer exists. The Berlin Wall, November 1989.
Between institutional collapse and false promises of utopia, people seek to define their own lives and their relations with others by thinking and acting as though power no longer existed.
Anarchism’s opposition to arbitrary power is often militant, but liberty is no simple thing.
Liberty is a political matter bound up with institutionalised struggles for equality among individuals, groups, networks and organisations. This is where the cult of the free individual falls down.
Anarchists once took constitutionalism very seriously and might well do so again to develop radical decision-making practices.
If anarchists reject private property and the state, they need to devise alternative, radical practices of power-sharing. Republican constitutionalism offers one way to think about this.
The people in a democracy can be likened to the cells in a jellyfish.
Mike Johnston/Wikipedia Commons
If democracy were an animal, which one would it be? This short play, set in an Australian pub, explores this question to contrast ways we understand democracy and our roles within it.
Donald Trump is a spectre of things to come: of political performance in an age of projection rather than representation.
The faultlines in democratic politics are clear. On one side is a system of democracy that is bad at making people feel represented. On the other are anti-politician performers like Donald Trump.
There is no better alternative than the rise of the populist left for Europe and beyond.
The People's Assembly Against Austerity
The future of democracy depends on developing a left-wing populism that can revive public interest by mobilising political passions in the fight for an alternative to neoliberal de-democratisation.
Yu Keping: ‘The movement towards democracy everywhere is a political trend that cannot be reversed. China is no exception.’
Opponents of democracy often raise the spectre of social disorder. Over the long term, it is only democracy and the rule of law that will provide for the long-lasting peaceful rule of the nation.
The Statue of Liberty stands as a beacon of the civil religion that is the contemporary faith in human rights.
The tradition of republicanism offered us civil religion, a foundation of belief that could counter any politics or policy that demands sacrifice in this world to be compensated in some “beyond”.
Malcolm Turnbull can put his values into practice by calling on all members of his party to vote in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.
A vote on whether same-sex couples can get married is discriminatory because it applies a standard to them that does not apply to heterosexual couples.
Populists are on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic – Donald Trump (right) has even been called ‘America’s Marine Le Pen’ (left).
Populist politicians are on the march, first in Latin America, then in Europe and the US. They are on both the left and right, and their policies vary, but their approach carries the same risks.
Has the American political system fallen so low that it requires a massive injection of anti-democratic behaviour to make it more ‘democratic’?
Reuters/James Glover II
The dwindling ranks of those who line up to defend America’s system are able to do so only if they view it through a prism of its lofty 18th-century ideals, rather than 21st-century realities.
President Xi Jinping and the rest of the Chinese leadership do not get to positions of national leadership without undergoing decades of trials to demonstrate their capacity to run a country.
The China Model features political meritocracy at the top, democracy at the bottom and experimentation in between. The West can learn from the best of Chinese leadership, even if it is authoritarian.
Bonobos can inspire us to make our democracies more peaceful.
We can draw inspiration from the successes of non-humans, learn from their group decision-making and gain insights from analogies. And with every extinction of a species we lose such possibilities.
We know about the human democracy that was. We know the failings of the democracy that is. But the democracy to come is both uncertain and full of possibilities.
Mitchell Nolte (2015), used with permission
Democracy must evolve in response to the threats we pose to the environment and to ourselves. We can learn from how other species make collective decisions, solve problems and survive.
Non-human Democracy (2015) by Sandra Eterovic.
Used with permission.
Despite the popularity in other disciplines of inter-species thinking, it’s ignored in democracy research. Why is that? Why can we not conceive of democracy as anything other than uniquely human?
When our political institutions are market-driven, they risk becoming a democratic shell that no longer serves the people, as the European Union experience is showing.
Democracy’s problem is not the crisis but the triumph of capitalism. Democracy has become market-conforming, resulting in whole sections of society lacking meaningful representation.
The TPP has been released. Can its democratic deficit be overcome?
TPP negotiations have been covered in secrecy, and now as details have been released it only shows a wider democratic deficiency.
Bill Shorten said politicians and government must find ways to re-engage a generation of young people.
There is a growing canyon now separating politics as understood and practiced by political authorities from the political practices of everyday people.