Democracy, Condorcetism and Popular Participation


an innovative institutional structure

Andrea Surbone

he rightful preamble is that since I am Italian and a simple observer of the surrounding reality, this short essay on democracy takes up and integrates a text conceived and written in 2016 for Italy, to which it also refers. However, I believe that democracy is a universal concept: although the context is Italian, the proposal transcends its boundaries. And the one outlined here is an operational proposal. In this sense, with due correlation, it may contain universally valid ideas. It can certainly be the blueprint for the institutional set-up of a new society. For me, therefore, it is the institutional set-up to go with the new philoponic society.1

A great political legacy runs through the history of humankind: democracy. From the ancestral nucleus of the Indo-Europeans and through Pericles’ Athens, which became its hallmark, democracy appears as a founding concept of society. But what is democracy? Or rather, what democracy?

The two great contenders today are the concepts of representative democracy and direct democracy.2 And it is important
to discuss highly technical aspects such as the form of democracy because the shift to the Anthropocene has a new form of society as its only way out. And while the discussion about the new society involves mainly social, environmental and economic aspects, the political aspect is also important.

Parting from the fact that the Anthropocene has pushed us beyond the limits of Mother Earth’s resilience, it is urgent to impose strict rules in order to curb the overflowing anthropic impact that is leading us towards an unknown that appears, alas, sadly known to us.

It is in this context—the imposition of insuperable limits—that politics becomes fundamental. At first glance, the most appropriate political form to impose strict rules is certainly not a democracy; any form that allows for a more centralised power - from the direct election of the ‘leader’ to dictatorship, and the various other attributes of ‘-cracy’ - is easier than true democracy proper.

My conviction, however, is that the new society must be established by deliberation, not by imposition. In this sense, it is democracy that these pages will deal with; trying also to overcome the dispute between representative and direct democracy. I advocate for the proportional system,3 considering it the maximum representation of elective democracy.

For a full read of this brief, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.


Clicca qui o sulla foto per scaricare il saggio completo in formato pdf.


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