Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent

"an eye-opener” - Edward S. Herman

"... an excellent step... moving from insightful analysis of co-optation not into defeatism, but a renewed spirit of revolt." Stevphen Shukaitis

Democracy was once a considered dangerous new idea and a threat to ruling elites. It brought to mind fearful images of oppressed masses demanding social and political equality. Fast forward to today and democracy is a key method by which the inequality and injustices of capitalism are legitimated and popular consent engineered. Despite the fact that capitalism can tolerate neither equal access to decision-making or truly open dissent, and in fact prioritises profit-making above all social or environmental concerns, we are nonetheless persuaded to believe that capitalism is, or at least can be, democratic. Now a new book – published by Corporate Watch – uncovers how this contradiction is sustained, and the anti-democratic rule of capitalism protected.

Managing Democracy, Managing Dissent comprises of twenty essays – written by writers, academics and activists and edited by Corporate Watch researcher Rebecca Fisher – which collectively argue that in today's 'democracy' elite interests are served by the limitations placed upon popular participation in decision-making, by the manipulation of public opinion through propaganda, and from the attempts to co-opt, marginalise and/or repress oppositional politics. This ground-breaking book reveals how despite its inherently anti-democratic nature, global capitalism is dependent upon the manipulation of the concept of democracy to survive. It thus exposes a potential weakness at the heart of capitalism, which activists and campaigners can usefully target in their struggle against oppression and environmental destruction.

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Reviews: 
"This book, with daring clarity, opens the hood and investigates what machinery makes it possible to manage democracy and make it safe for capitalism... It is a brave book and it should not be missed." Silvia Federici
Price: £10.00
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"As the contributions to this volume will show powerfully, a highly limited concept and practice of democracy, with its accompanying rhetoric, has been developed in parallel with the emergence of the capitalist system, to manage and contain dissent, shroud and legitimate the oppression that capitailsm requires, and heavily confine our political responses to it... Thus democracy is managed, in order to contain dissent, and ensure that it does not threaten transnational capitalism, corporate power and elite interests."
Publication date: 
2013-04