The Democracy Manifesto is about how to recreate democracy by replacing elections with government that is truly of, by and for the people. Written in engaging and accessible dialogue form, the book argues that the only truly democratic system of government is one in which decision-makers are selected randomly (by sortition) from the population at large, operating much the way trial juries do today, but 100% online, enabling people to govern together even across great distances. Sortition has a storied history but what sets The Democracy Manifesto apart is its comprehensive account of how it can be implemented not only across all sectors and levels of government, but throughout society as well, including the democratization of mass media, corporations, banks, and other large institutions. The resulting Sortitive Representative Democracy (SRD) is the true heir to ancient Greek democracy, and the only means of ensuring ‘we the people’ are represented by our fellow citizens rather than by the revolving groups of elites that dominate electoral systems. In the process, the book grapples with myriad hot topics including economic issues, international relations, indigenous rights, environmentalism and more.
Wayne Waxman is retired professor of modern philosophy.
Alison McCulloch is scholar of philosophy and retired journalist.
Part I: Democratizing Government
Chapter 1. Going Democratic
Chapter 2. The Democratic Ideal
Chapter 3. Phase One: Launching Democracy
Chapter 4. Phase Two: Democracy in Action
Chapter 5. Phase Three: The Ruling Assembly (Demarchy)
Chapter 6. International Democracy: Foreign Affairs and War
Chapter 7. High Quality Information — Democracy’s Lifeblood
Part II: Democratizing Society
Chapter 8. The Economy
Chapter 9. Mass Media
Chapter 10. Politics without Politicians
Chapter 11. Constitutional Democracy
Chapter 12. Institutional Democracy
Sortition - the lottery - was invented by the ancient Greeks as a peculiarly democratic mode of self-governance. SRD is the brilliantly inventive authors' attempt to remedy some of the failings of our modern representative democracies, and it's advocated for in a classically ancient Greek way: by use of the dialog format. Add to that fully up-to-date documentation and a classic openness to logical, rational argument and the present work offers one of the best available routes for genuine progress in a murky but essential field of human endeavor, a truly democratic politics.
The play is the thing wherein this book will catch the conscience of the king, along with his needlessly loyal subjects. In The Democracy Manifesto, Wayne Waxman and Alison McCulloch stage a play inspired by Greek theater to advance an Ancient Athenian idea. They propose replacing elections with "sortitive representative democracy," sometimes called a "civic lottery," to fill legislative offices. They then take this method farther than most advocates to envision a sortition society, with everything from foreign policy to workplace disputes governed by random samples of the public. Given the recent successes of sortition across the globe, the authors' drama could move from fiction to fact sooner than skeptics might expect.
The Democracy Manifesto is an entertaining, engaging introduction to an idea worth taking very seriously: the use of random selection, rather than elections, to choose our political representatives.