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Shooting Yourself First in the Foot, then in the Head: Normative Democracy Is Suffocating, and then the Coronavirus Came to Light

Authors
  • Carr, Paul R.1
  • 1 Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO),
Type
Published Article
Journal
Postdigital Science and Education
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Jun 10, 2020
Pages
1–19
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s42438-020-00142-3
PMCID: PMC7283988
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This text starts with the premise that ‘normative democracy’ has rendered our societies vulnerable and burdened with unaddressed social inequalities. I highlight three central arguments: (1) Social media, and, consequently, citizen engagement are becoming a significant filter that can potentially re-imagine the political, economic, and social worlds, which increasingly bleed over to how we might develop and engage with ‘democracy’; to this end, I introduce a brief case study on the nefarious interpretation of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 to underscore the tension points in normative democracy; (2) Capitalism, or neoliberalism, needs to be more fully exposed, interrogated, and confronted if ‘normative, representative, hegemonic, electoral democracy’ is to be re-considered, re-imagined, and re-invented; the perpetuation of social inequalities lays bare the frailty of normative democratic institutions; (3) Covid-19 has exposed the fault lines and fissures of normative democracy, illustrating here the ‘common sense’ ways that power imbalances are sustained, which leaves little room for social solidarity; I present herein the case of the economic/labor dynamic in Quebec during the coronavirus. Ultimately, I believe the quest to re-imagine a more meaningful, critically engaged democracy, especially during a context that is imbued with a political, economic, and public health crisis, cannot be delayed much longer.

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