Chris Hedges and David Van Reybrouck: Democracy Only Can Survive If Innovation Occurs


Image by SUXSIEQ via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Sep 1, 2018

Historian, David Van Reybrouck, in his new book Against Elections, identifies modern day examples of Aristotle’s “drawing lots” underway in Iceland, Ireland and Australia marking innovation in democracies. He thinks democracy only can survive if innovation occurs.

From the archives:

Matt Taibbi: They are Essentially Controlling the Flow of Information

Chris Hedges: Would the American People be Better Served by a Movement for a People’s Party?

Universal Voting VS Voter Suppression by Ralph Nader

Chris Hedges and Frances Moore Lappé: The Struggle to Wrest Back Control of Our Democracy

Chris Hedges: The Illusion of Democracy

Abby Martin: Corporate Lobbyists Use Intimidation, Not Bribery

There Is No Democracy In The US Empire!

Ralph Nader: The Two Party System Brought Us the Corrupt Political System That is Driving Our Country to the Ground

Abby Martin and Rosa Clemente: Electoral Politics Never Saved Anyone

Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger by Graham Peebles

Seven Days in June by William Bowles

7 thoughts on “Chris Hedges and David Van Reybrouck: Democracy Only Can Survive If Innovation Occurs

  1. Pingback: A Revolution of Democracy – Dandelion Salad

  2. Glad Chris Hedges interviewed David Van Reybrouck, and hope he looks further into how juries (aka minipublics) can make modern societies far more democratic, and far more oriented to the interests of the people.

    Randomly sampled juries are very well-suited for providing the democratic ideal of informed rule by the people, and for ending the capture of the US political system by the corporations and the .01%.

    They can do this in several ways, including the following two.

    One. Candidates can be selected for public offices by jury, rather than by popular election. See Threlkeld, August 12, 2016, Dissident Voice.

    Two. The final say in lawmaking can be transferred from elected politicians to legislative juries, so that all laws passed by politicians will be subject to veto by juries, and so that proposed laws from public interest groups and others can be passed by jury even if they are opposed or ignored by politicians. See Threlkeld, summer, 1998, Social Policy; April 18, 2016, Truthout; May 18, 2017, Equality by Lot.

  3. Totally excellent discussion. Intellectually stimulating and instructive. The Irish example is particularly intriguing. It speaks volumes that there has been so little coverage of that here in the UK!

    I’m not sure that political will is what is needed in the USA, so much as political imagination, which is what this discussion delivers in trumps…ha ha (no apologies to Messrs Adelson et al.)

    One big challenge for any democratic process is invariably the ambivalent drive to put oneself forward; it may indeed inspire those who are bold enough and possessed of real ability, but it clearly also encourages and empowers those who are driven by self-enhancement alone, rather than authentic service ~ in the sense that they may not genuinely honour and respect those whom they ‘purport’ to represent. So corruption needs to be defined clearly, before it can be addressed and eliminated.

    Another difficulty with current electoral methods, is that they are essentially quantitative, not qualitative ~ because they reduce organized existence to a formal process of elimination, that is no different from the capitalist system of top dog power gradients based on an aptitude for material acquisition.

    As with the more extreme referenda example, electoral circuses are also heinously divisive. Brexit has generated endless problems for the UK; it is showing the signs and real potential to ruin this country ~ but things are I suspect, moving apace to avert this disaster. At least that appears to be the case as of now.

    Random lots are, as mentioned, similar to obligatory jury service, a good example of how it already operates in practice in the judicial sphere. Peer selection (and review) is a natural social function that seems to occur reasonably well throughout academia ~ especially in the science community ~ but it still requires an adequate diversity of honest individuals to function successfully. As a political mechanism of governance assuring the separation of powers, it must constitute a robust & fair consensus, nested symbiotically with other independent organs ~ that especially serve to call to account anyone attempting to abuse the privileges and responsibilities of office.

    Formal agreement in politics will always be rare so long as diversity is actually allowed to flourish and express itself; so perhaps counter-intuitively, unity may even be a sign of unhealth ~ especially if it grows susceptible & vulnerable to complacency or resistant to refreshing change ~ stifling necessary innovation. These are all generic institutional hazards of course, that are of specific relevance to hierarchies.

    Niall Ferguson, despite being given to self-promotion & overt ambition, in his most recent published work, has looked at the structural and social relationships of hierarchies and networks; an inquiry worthy of considered reflection, in my estimation.

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