Stephen Shalom presents a talk from the ‘Crisis of the Nation State – Anarchist Answers’ conference, which was held at the Freiburg University of Education in March 2021.
The presentation is about a new political system called ‘Participatory Polity’. A democratic political system based on Self-Management that bypasses the need for governments. Participatory polity was conceived to exist along side a Participatory Economy.
More videos from the conference can be found here
Like our proposal for a participatory economy, Shalom’s “companion” proposal for a participatory political system is very concrete and innovative. And just as a participatory economy breaks with more traditional thinking, Shalom’s proposal breaks with common left traditions about what political democracy entails. In an era when leftists need to do a great deal of creative new thinking, this is more than welcome.
I want to call an issue I believe is of great importance to people’s attention. It is the issue of “direct” democracy vs. “representative” democracy. Sometimes it is also thought of as the difference between “deliberative” democracy, and “popular” democracy.
What it reduces to in practice I believe is precisely WHO gets to vote on any particular matter. When discussing the pros and cons of Shalom’s proposal, I think those are important things to keep in mind. In particular, on what issues, and after what deliberation, and precisely how, would people who are NOT delegates at any level vote? What issues would such people NOT vote on, except by voting in some way for delegates? And what are the pros and cons of how this is handled in his proposal?
Continue the discussion at forum.participatoryeconomy.org