Introduction: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

Bauer, A. J.; Beltran, Cristina; Jaleel, Rana; Ross, Andrew

Introductory article for the site 'Is This What Democracy Looks Like?'. "This dossier takes its cue from one of the Occupy movement’s bedrock slogans, 'This Is What Democracy Looks Like' (though the catchword was first nurtured, as were many Occupy paradigms, tactics, and customs, in the global justice movement that came of age in Seattle in 1999). This proud assertion, stiffened by populist certitudes about the '99%' hypermajority, exercised a clear appeal to protesters. It is self-congratulatory, confrontational, and also quite articulate as a political statement. Not everyone has to believe the slogan to chant it. But what if it were taken up as a more literal goal? What if the Occupy model of horizontalism, explicated below, were to be pushed into every venue of civil society, eventually supplanting the roots of our representative democracy system? Who would gain and who would lose? How would our own institutions, organizations, and networks be transformed in the process? The radical innocence of Occupy allowed such questions to be asked. After more than a year of operations under its name, the record allows some provisional answers to be offered."


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Periscope: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

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Academic Units
Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
The Social Text Collective
Published Here
October 8, 2013