Articles sur Democratic theory

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What do you call a democracy that depends on the exclusion of whole groups from political participation? Gaia/Wikipedia Commons

What’s in a name? How a democracy becomes an aristocracy

Democracy today contains within itself impulses towards both inclusion and exclusion. Spinoza's thinking on aristocracy should alert us to how democratic rule by the people can be hollowed out.
Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation. Marc Smith/flickr

The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’

Capitalism has become focused on expanding the proportion of social life that is open to data collection and processing – as if the social itself has become the new target of capitalism’s expansion.
Tea Party supporters have been demanding to be heard for a long time. Valerie Hinjosa/flickr

Face the facts: populism is here to stay

We are witnessing the global rise of populism. Once seen as a fringe phenomenon from another era or only certain parts of the world, populism is a mainstay of politics today across the globe.
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. Justin Lane/EPA

Western democracy needs humility to step beyond its own shadow

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Do outdated fantasies of anarchism simply play into the agendas of the rich and privileged?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. Nicolas Vigier/flickr

Whither anarchy: the fantasy of natural law

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. Reuters

Whither anarchy: ownness as a form of freedom

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. Transmetropolitan Review

Whither anarchy: perspectives on anarchism and liberty

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. Kim Davis/flickr

Whither anarchy: freedom as non-domination

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.
There is no better alternative than the rise of the populist left for Europe and beyond. The People's Assembly Against Austerity

In defence of left-wing populism

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.’ Supplied

Crossing the river by feeling the stones: democracy’s advance in China

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.
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

US democracy trumps all as a dysfunctional disgrace

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.

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