Get Against Elections: The Case for Democracy PDF

By David Van Reybrouck

ISBN-10: 1847924220

ISBN-13: 9781847924223

Democracy is in undesirable well-being. the indicators are commonplace: the increase of fear-mongering populists, common mistrust within the institution, character contests, and point-scoring in preference to reasoned debate, slogans rather than expertise. opposed to Elections offers a brand new analysis —and an historic treatment. David Van Reybrouck reminds us that the unique goal of elections was once to exclude the folks from strength by way of appointing an elite to manipulate over them. He demonstrates how over the years their impact has been to lessen the people's participation in govt to an absolute minimal, determine energy continues to be within the fingers of these who already wield it, and strength politicians to pass judgement on guidelines now not on their benefits yet on their probability to win or lose votes. and that is whilst elections cross good. but for many of democracy's 3000-year historical past governments weren't selected through election in any respect: they have been appointed, very similar to the jury method, via a mixture of volunteering and lottery. Drawing on huge studying, a global array of proof, and increasingly more winning trials, Against Elections demonstrates how a cosmopolitan and sensible model of this old procedure could paintings this present day and hence put off the underlying reason behind democracy's affliction. pressing, heretical, and fully convincing, this ebook leaves just one query to be responded: what are we ready for?

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A rebellious citizenry threw off the yoke of the British and French crowns and decided that the people were sovereign, not the king. 47 Voting was familiar as a means of achieving unanimity among a group of like-minded people, such as cardinals, but in politics it would now have to promote consensus between people seen as virtuous within their own circles. For a citizen of the early twenty-first century it takes a certain amount of imagination to conceive of a time when elections were not there to produce arguments but to promote unity.

A blood transfusion is not a guaranteed cure for a body that is at death’s door. Moreover, they are not as enamoured of the cult of the leader as are the populists: it’s far too vertical for them, and it remains a form of delegation. What, then? The efficiency of the technocrats doesn’t appeal to them either. Their own peculiar, roundabout way of conducting meetings shows that they regard legitimacy as a good deal more important than rapid results. If you take a close look at Occupy Wall Street and the Indignados, what is striking is the movement’s strong anti-parliamentarianism.

41 Dutch sociologist Willem Schinkel adds: ‘Occupy is in a sense the simulation of ideological resistance. ’42 Occupy demonstrates the malaise more than it suggests any remedy. Its diagnosis of representative democracy was correct, but the alternative was weak. For participants in the general assemblies it will undoubtedly have been a moving and enjoyable experience, as the sense of being part of a community that discusses things in a calm and adult manner can be extraordinarily intense. There can never be too much cultivation of civic virtues, especially when parliament and the media no longer set a good example.

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Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck


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