In order for the wave of irrational and anti-scientific conspiracies to be tackled in any meaningful way, people en masse have to be empowered.
Through his incompetence, callousness and greed for power, Johnson has done us two favours: exposing the shallowness of our theatrical democracy, and creating a potential coalition ranging from hospital porters to supreme court judges. Now we must decide how to mobilise it.
We consider democracy especially in its direct, participatory and/or representative forms, and for the satisfaction of individual needs (within the ecological frugality prescribed by the third fundamental norm of ethics, and respect for interculturality).
Like the White Queen in Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, I have been practising, doing my best to believe impossible things before breakfast. Could these experiments with slower, deliberative modes of democracy carry the currents of indignation, transform them into a turning aside from business as usual? Could there be political leaders who come around to the need for such a turning, in the face of the enormity of the climate crisis?
This remark, made by a member of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) Citizens’ Assembly Working Group, is met by a spontaneous flurry of jazz hands from everyone in the small Kings College London meeting room. No, we’re not all frustrated musical theatre performers; waving ‘jazz hands’ are used in XR, and other activist groups, to express agreement during a group discussion. I can’t resist pointing out the irony of our reaction – we’re all agreeing we need to be less cult-like by raising our hands in unison and waving them about. Everyone laughs, but it strikes me that this points to a deeper challenge in our work.
For those tired of the fake news and play hate, who are convinced by Austin and their own better natures that accomplishing something better is actually still possible within the American system, Hersh provides a new, detailed, 21st-century appropriate set of adaptable “rules” for us all, radicals or otherwise.
The coming decade is arguably the most important in human history, especially as relates to climate and the environment. The status quo – of a planetary emergency and deep inequalities – is unsustainable and insupportable. Strategies for extending democratic public ownership over the commanding heights of the twenty-first century economy can open up a more innovative, sustainable, and inclusive futur
During the 2016 referendum campaign, #Brexiteers pretended that #Brexit was about ‘restoring the full sovereignty of Parliament’, which had allegedly been usurped by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Now, they’re happy to see their unelected PM suspend this same Parliament.
Put bluntly: yes, Britain is mired in a democratic crisis. But it is one that is older, wider and deeper than this week’s debacle over Brexit and parliamentary sovereignty, and it features across our everyday lives.
Not to be confused with people’s assemblies (a more informal gathering, often of existing activists) citizens’ assemblies are a way of exploring public views on a particular topic and coming up with concrete solutions.
Imagine a group of people of different ages who meet in order to settle some matter important for a city, a country or for the European Union. This group was not selected through elections but by lot. They make decisions from the position of supreme authority which in democracy are ordinary people.
To be sure, ecological calamity will not permit an organized, equitable, and civilized global community. Marxist Humanists and others would like to add, “it doesn’t come from one, either.”