Post-Democracy

November 18, 2009 at 10:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We are living in a post-democratic society. What I mean by that term is that we have the outward forms of democracy only but not its reality. Yes, we have elections and political parties. But these do not effect real change. That is because effective power lies elsewhere. It lies with those who control the levers of the global market – multi-national corporations, international financiers, large States.

Take Ireland’s current economic policy. Our monetary policy is determined entirely by the European Central Bank. Our fiscal policy is determined by the European Commission. Thus, our present budgetary deficit–GDP ratio is just over 12%. The Commission has insisted this be brought down to 3%. They have given us five years to achieve this. It does not matter which political party or coalition of parties is elected. They must all conform to these budgetary constraints. Our choice lies only in the detail of how we do this.

In effect, our independence and autonomy in these matters are gone. We are in a state of dependency. Our votes will make little difference.

We need a democratic renewal. I have suggested below a mechanism for economic, social and political change that is radical but uses no jargon, involves no protest, is positive, smart and empowering and uses tools already available. It centres on bottom-up participative solution seeking. We need to create a new social movement that does not want formal political power. In post-democracy change will not come from politics!

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2 Comments »

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  1. Democracy-theatre?

    Nice to see you back blogging.

    • Fred, Thanks for that. It’s mostly my students driving me to put certain thoughts on-line. However, it’s despair at our poor country as much as anything. Best wishes, Mark.


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