Democracy : A User's Guide

4.22 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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But just how "Free" are we? How democratic are our so-called "Democracies"?

Is it enough to simply elect our leaders and sit back, helpless, as they rule over us like dictators? What good is selecting our politicians, if we cannot control our media, police or soldiers? If we must blindly follow our teachers' and bosses' commands, whilst at school and in the workplace, is it not a little naïve to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies? And if our resources are controlled by a tiny cabal of plutocrats, bankers and corporations; can we honestly say that our economies are being run for us?

Could things not be a little bit more, well, democratic?

Indeed they can! "Democracy: A User's Guide" shows us how...

Within the pages of this story-filled book, we shall visit Summerhill, a democratic school in the east of England, before stopping off in Brazil to check out Semco, where workplace democracy is the name of the game. We will travel to Rojava, to explore life in a democratic army, and head to Spain, to see why Podemos is giving liquid democracy a go. We shall travel back in time, to see democracy at work in hunter-gatherer societies, tribal confederacies, the guilds and on the commons. We will consider the case for participatory budgeting, deliberative democracy, collaborative hiring, community currencies, peer-to-peer lending, and much much more.

The message is clear and concise: Democracy does not have to be a pipe dream. We have all the tools we need to rule ourselves.

Get your copy of Joss Sheldon's new masterpiece today...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 585g
  • English
  • 1716792061
  • 9781716792069
  • 2,640,381

Review quote

"Entertaining and insightful... Enjoyable... Interesting and curious... The examples Sheldon has collected for this book are fascinating and make for a provocative read."*** IRISH TECH NEWS ***

"Democracy is inherently a swamp with too many variables, both specific and contextual. Sheldon leads the reader deep into this swamp, lets them feel lost, and then shows them the many potential ways in which it can be navigated, thus reminding us that there isn't one definite meaning of democracy, nor one way to reach it, nor a standard formula to preserve it... It uses neither a Eurocentric nor a bourgeois lens to evaluate political cultures from across the world. It doesn't imagine the seeds of democracy in ancient Greece, but, instead, finds them across time and throughout the world. Another strength of the book lies in its candor in discussing the health of democracy as it exists, especially in the bastions of European-style polities. While the book narrates events big and small-including protests, movements, technological innovations, betrayals by the police, pushback from the state-that have helped democracy progress, stagnate, and falter, the general message is positive. There is hope for democracy, and there are strategies and tools that people across the world have forged. Finally, this book pushes through the general tendency of thinking about democracy only in spaces exclusively reserved for politics. It emphasizes the need to democratize across the board-at schools, in corporations, in the market, among law enforcement organizations, within armies, in media groups, at places of work, and so on. While the lack of dates in the anecdotes sometimes makes the reader unsure of the context, this is an interesting and immensely readable book."*** DOLLARS & SENSE MAGAZINE ***

"An incredibly straight forward guide and a book everyone living in a democracy should read... Overall, "Democracy: A User's Guide" by Joss Sheldon is highly recommended. Easily, 5-Stars!"*** READERS' VIEWS ***
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Rating details

49 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 45% (22)
4 39% (19)
3 12% (6)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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