Ash Amin on Democracy

Piece at Berfrois - draws on his forthcoming book with Nigel Thrift, Arts of the Political.

If democracy means rule by the people for the people, it has broken down. All we have today is rule by elites for national and transnational elites, marked by periodic social eruptions that fail to add up to anything transformative. The elites bounce back regrouped, the protestors are silenced or appeased, and electoral victories promising radical change end up captured by vested interests. The Arab Spring has yet to bring spring to the masses; the uprisings around the world against financial capitalism and austerity have only served to strengthen ties between banks, international financial institutions and the powerful states. The millions of people crushed by the current economic crisis and its handling by the authorities are told that their sacrifice is needed for a return to better times, while reforming governments trying to protect the less well-off rely on the approval of lenders, rating agencies, the media and powerful states. These failures of democracy are worldwide, a feature also of so-called ‘mature democracies’. People everywhere are not doing much of the governing, while those supposed to be acting on their behalf are doing nothing of the sort. The consequence is growing social misery and injustice.

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One Response to Ash Amin on Democracy

  1. dmf says:

    did we ever have a rule by the people for the people to break down?

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