Graffiti on a wall in Sana'a, Yemen, denounces US drone strikes that have killed scores of civilians.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once observed that Persian rulers indulged the habit of getting drunk when making important decisions. When sober and sensible next morning, their custom was to reconsider…
What do you call a democracy that depends on the exclusion of whole groups from political participation?
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.
The Labour elite doesn’t think Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to make it in Westminster.
Labour reformers toyed with the image of democratic participation without realising what it would actually lead to – a democratic debate. But the next step is not to backpedal against democracy.
Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation.
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.
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.
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Do outdated fantasies of anarchism simply play into the agendas of the rich and privileged?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.
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.
Egyptian refugees fleeing Libya with the help of the US Air Force.
US Department of Defence
Surely it isn’t too far-fetched to claim that if migrants are to promote democracy back home, it is beneficial for them to experience democratic values and principles in the countries hosting them.
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.