🦋 How to overcome democratic gridlock

Conversation as equals

In ‘Rescuing an abandoned science: the lexicon of democracy’, Jean-Paul Gagnon argues that to broaden our options for democratisation, we must collect and study the many meanings of the word democracy. Without such data, answers to the question ‘What is democracy?’ are arbitrary. I think that rather than being arbitrary, such answers are parochial.

The current conjuncture

From where I am looking, I see a severely damaged world. Human relations are in decay, as are relations between humans and other-than-human beings. Of course, there are exemplary humans everywhere on the planet striving to make another world possible. In fact, a multiplicity of other worlds already exists in the here and now. All these together, and in dialogue, suggest options for us, as citizens of planet Earth, to break out of the current democratic gridlock.

Re-evaluating democratic gridlock

I write from the West, about the need for a democratic multilogue as a response to gridlock. All around me, the word democracy is on everyone’s lips while we collectively experience its hollowing-out. Let us not, therefore, be romantic or utopian, imagining a heyday of a democracy that was or a democracy to come. Democratisation is ongoing, and dialogue as equals is an integral part of the democratic process.

Broadening democratic ‘imaginaries’

As humans, we are facing a challenging conjuncture. Our imaginaries of democracy have been diluted to align with the real-life deficiencies and limitations of our representative democratic governments.

Slow time versus crisis time

I am aware of the unsophisticated nature of my argument. Yet I struggle to see the wisdom of the drums of war, or the trickle-down economic logic of allowing for a billionaire class to form while much of humanity starves. What role does democracy play in these interconnected processes?



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The Science of Democracy

The Science of Democracy

Republished essays, in chronological order, from The Loop’s short essay series on the “science of democracy”