Category Archives: democracy

Bernard E. Harcourt: “Compagnon de route [Fellow Traveler]”

‘So for now, rather than put on the yellow vest, I would take on the mantle of “companion de route” – fellow traveler, like those who, famously, in the twentieth century, did not join the Communist Party, but sympathized with the aims and goals of Communists and were willing to work with the movement.’

Etienne Balibar: “‘Gilets jaunes’: the meaning of the confrontation”

“That is how democracy is invented and perhaps, at the end of the day, how a regime can change. It is not a long road from the roundabout to the town hall, via the public square, which does not mean it is easy to travel. Demonstrations, popular assemblies, municipal counter-power, États Généraux or their modern equivalent, such is perhaps the squaring of the circle; it must be resolved on a daily basis and over the coming weeks, probably quite quickly, so that a political idea that everyone now needs can emerge from a revolt that no one had expected.”

“Tierra y libertad: The Mexican Revolution”

“The 100th anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata by the Mexican military (10/04/1919) is the occasion to share texts on the country’s revolution (1910-1920), a revolution profoundly marked by anarchist ideals and practices, ideals and practices which very often found expression in much older indigenous social relations, and which have continued to resonate through the history of this land’s peoples.”

Samuel Hayat: “The Gilets Jaunes and the Democratic Question”

“A new emancipatory politics, which remains to be invented, should be based on making the ensemble of relations of domination visible, without hierarchy and by remaining open and responsive to new antagonisms which will inevitably come to light. As it is, the Gilets Jaunes movement, anchored in a citizenist conception of politics, does not seem to be taking this path toward the visibilization of these antagonisms, even as it opens up new democratic possibilities. A renewal of an emancipatory politics must therefore think both with and against this movement, for democracy and against oligarchy, but also for the expression of conflict and against consensus – whether it be technocratic or citizenist.”

Pierre Dardot: “With the ‘gilets jaunes’: against representation, for democracy”

“Urgency demands that we act in the movement as it is and with the gilets jaunes,taking them as they are and not as we would like them to be; resolutely supporting everything that goes in the direction of self-organization and democracy. Let’s repeat, it’s not over yet. The present is new, the future is open and our action matters, here and now. Act V.”

Eleanor Finley: “The revolution will be ecologised: social change in the 21st century”

Revolution toward a directly democratic society represents both a return to humanity’s communal roots, as well as a progressive step into realms of scientific, philosophical, and cultural discovery beyond our current conceptual horizons. Just as the Enlightenment revolutions were closely tied to the development of secular sciences like optics and astronomy, the gradational and relational logic of ecology today provides the conceptual basis of a truly democratic transformation. Revolution in the 21st century advances natural evolution not only in content, but in form. Our time is now.”

John Ferling: “Forget a new civil war. We need a new American revolution.”

“More than 200 years later, the United States may well be losing the American Revolution.”

Katlyn Marie Carter: “The Invention of Representative Democracy”

‘In the 1790s, as the discourse of “representative democracy” began to take hold, the salient differences between the two terms were muddled.’

Matthew Rainbow Hale: “Defining Democracy, Challenging ‘Democrats’”

‘We know with greater clarity than ever before that the invention of the American “democrat” between 1793 and 1795 was an abrupt, dramatic, French Revolution-inspired phenomenon, that it went hand-in-hand with the emergence of the democrat-aristocrat rhetorical polarity, and that it betokened and contributed to a millenarian, utopian “regeneration” movement oriented around the social implications of egalitarian ideology.’

Tareq Baconi: “What the Gaza Protests Portend”

“In these circumstances, the Palestinian struggle for self-determination has, in effect, dissolved into numerous local battles: equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, freedom of movement for West Bankers, residency rights for East Jerusalemites, education for refugees, an end to the blockade for Gazans. This fragmentation is not, however, a given for all time. The dense smoke, burning tires, and the masses of people huddled under gunfire on Friday afternoons is what, at this moment, the recalibration of the Palestinian struggle looks like. The images coming out of Gaza are an indication of Palestinian disenchantment with the political process and with their leaders. In a deeper and more significant way, we are also witnessing a revival of the core principles that always animated the Palestinian cause but that were displaced in the tangled maze of political negotiations.”