12. Back to fundamentals: private property, the commons, and democracy

12. Back to fundamentals: private property, the commons, and democracy

00:00 / 00:45:56

“Our political structure is no longer responsive to the people, even in the narrow way of defining the people that the American constitution in its original draft did. In other words, we may have democratized the society by having more and more voters—the right to vote spreads more and more throughout different groups in the society. But that doesn’t mean that the structure works anymore democratically. It probably works much less democratically than ever before.”

-big mike

Listen: iTunes, Spotify, Mixcloud | Transcript

In this episode:

00:00 How radical a change do we need to survive? How are beliefs around political pragmatism getting in the way? How can we distinguish between political strategy and political tactics without losing sight of the big picture?

09:21 What does the history of the commons have to teach us about new ways to organize society? What areas of political and economic life need to be ‘recommonized’? What practical challenges face us in trying to implement the commons, and what can we learn from history about facing these challenges?

22:21 Whose responsibility is it to facilitate and initiate these massive changes to society? How has the American experiment of representative democracy, in which the state purportedly acts as the surrogate of the people, failed? What historical changes necessitate a change in the way we think about democracy?

28:36 How can we start to grapple with a question that is, historically, very dangerous—that is, whether democracy can bring about the immediate mass change that we need?

31:23 What can we learn from China, considering it not as a rival but as an alternative solution—one that, perhaps, we want to avoid?

36:24 What does education have to do with democracy? Why does the number of voters, or the number of people who have access to voting, not tell us much about how democratic a society is? Why is profound educational reform necessary for the making of an actually democratic society?

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