What is Wrong with Politics of the Irrepresentable?
It is a common belief in political essays and academic papers that politics have been trapped into a new circle of voting seeking. The well-founded political labels of left-wing and right-wing, as well as the euphemism of the political center are all deeply affected by the lack of a mind-blowing yet active and alive public policy discourse. People are generally dissatisfied by decision-makers all over the world, from the United States to China, and from South Africa to Belgium. The fundamental concern behind this trend is how people can be expressed when it comes to vote in electoral process.
BY DIMITRIS RAPIDIS | APRIL 17, 2012
Since the worldwide economic crisis was triggered in the United States (US) with the collapse of Lehmann Brothers in 2008, and since then taking a contagious dimension affecting Europe, people have started to ponder upon the political decisions ahead. The growing mass of people having trouble in choosing how political leadership should be reacting for addressing all kinds of social and economic issues is consistently calling for a new model of political action and decision-making that underpins obsolete mechanisms, figures, and politics. The problem here is that though citizens demand a new social contract, political conditions vary from case to case. And the implementation of a common model of political representation is hard to be dealing with this. We will briefly compare three completely different case studies to answer our question topic.
In authoritarian regimes in the Maghreb region we saw the Arab Spring to rise as a unitary revolutionary model of protest against absolutism and political barbarism. People demonstrated massively, occupying the streets, clashing with riot police and militia, demanding a new constitutional model that would bring democracy and the right to vote freely. The fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was achieved after days of street riots and what was lately achieved was a transitional government run by militants in order to pave new electoral process. A couple of weeks ago Tahrir Square was once again broadcasted in world media as the required revolution and democratic transition was badly processed. Still, Egyptians can’t have what they fought for.
In the US, the Occupy Wall Street movement was formed as a reacting response to a new social threat pertaining US economy: excessive unemployment and corporate corruption. Waves of people were gathered all across the American cities to protest against capitalism and its derivatives. The composition of these mass gatherings was widely varied from blue-collar workers to unemployed and from fired professionals to youngsters carrying a bike. Social class biases were omitted and all people manifested against the economic mindset of the US political and economic leadership. Despite the extent of the movement, nothing has been yet achieved but tens of arrests have been registered to police departments. Imagination and ideas are flourishing, but concrete actions are missing.
Published in Political Reflection Magazine (PR) Vol. 3 No. 2