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affinis's picture

I found the following article (linked yesterday at NC) a very worthwhile read: "There is no alternative. Governments now answer to business, not voters. Mainstream parties grow ever harder to distinguish. Is democracy dead?"
The article invokes the concept of "Post-Democracy" - referencing the work of academic Colin Crouch.

Here's a 2011 interview with Colin Crouch, discussing Post-Democracy.


ekster's picture
Submitted by ekster on

I read the "There is no alternative" article too ... the one thing about it that I found unconvincing was the breezy assertion that the M5S parliamentarians in Italy are incapable of changing things because they aren't up to the hard, messy work of actually governing, and that therefore other movements for change are incapable of changing things because they're the same as M5S and therefore aren't up to the hard, messy work etc.

Of course, it could turn out that this is all true (and anyway, yeah, no shit it's an uphill road). But the generalization from M5S to all movements for change is patently unwarranted, so let's toss that out without further ado. And then the reproach that M5S specifically will change nothing because they are not a serious party with a practical agenda besides being anti-corruption: well, that might turn out to be true, but in the meantime the jury is out (I'll add that is a favorite reproach of the hapless PD crowd, at whose convention the author is speaking).

I wholly agree that M5S has every opportunity to make no difference at all. I am not certain, from as much as I have read, that the route they're taking --- refusal to be drawn into political mess and compromise, focus on breaking the back of the present corrupt system --- doesn't in point of fact give them the best chance at making a difference that one could hope for.