ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
DEMOCRACY – THE ROLE OF
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Dr. Vishwas Satgar
WITS Academic
Cooperative and Policy ...
Introduction
Historically
significant social
changes taking
place in the world
Also major threats
to species and
planet
20...
What Democracy Is Not?
• Democracy is not a text book model. 3 problems
• (I) models are mechanical and an imposition on r...
What is Democracy?
• At its core it is about peoples power!
• Different institutional forms of democracy –
representative,...
Trends and Dangers of Democracy from
Above (representative democracy)
• Increasing reach, power and influence of private
c...
Global Awakening
The Come Back of Democracy From
Below
• Transnational Activist Direct Action – Seatle 1999
• Worker Take Overs and Factory...
The State of SA Democracy
Way Forward – Strengthen Impulse to
Build Democracy From Below
• Solidarity Economy Movement (SEM) and Food
Sovereignty
• ...
SEM and Food Sovereignty
Climate Jobs Campaign and Socially
Owned Renewables
Marikana and Worker Committees
Assemblies of the Excluded
The Information Connection – Embedding the
Library and Advancing Democracy from Below
• The Library as a space of Communit...
Invite to Liasa
• Join the emerging social and environmental justice
coalition to strengthen and deepen democracy -20 year...
Thank You for Listening and Engaging
• Dr. Vishwas Satgar
• Email: vishwas.satgar @wits.ac.za
• Useful websites:
• www.cop...
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Economic and social democracy : the role of access to information – Vishwas Satgar

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Economic and social democracy : the role of access to information – Vishwas Satgar

  1. 1. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACY – THE ROLE OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION Dr. Vishwas Satgar WITS Academic Cooperative and Policy Alternative Center, Board Chairperson
  2. 2. Introduction Historically significant social changes taking place in the world Also major threats to species and planet 20 years of SA Democracy – But when did it start? Interchangeable use of economic and social democracy with democracy from below.
  3. 3. What Democracy Is Not? • Democracy is not a text book model. 3 problems • (I) models are mechanical and an imposition on reality; • (II) all about elite representative democracy – democracy from above – western standard • (III) We must copy • BUT
  4. 4. What is Democracy? • At its core it is about peoples power! • Different institutional forms of democracy – representative, direct, participatory and rights based • Historically humans have invented democracy out of struggle – ancients – 2500 year ago Athens and modern democracy coming out of French Revolution (1789) • History of inventing modern democracy is about struggle between democracy from above (representative) versus democracy from below ( direct, participatory and rights). Ideally want both contending to brings citizens into politics and decision-making
  5. 5. Trends and Dangers of Democracy from Above (representative democracy) • Increasing reach, power and influence of private corporations over the state and society – hollowing out democracy- What is the meaning of elections? • Growing inequality in the world – social conflict • Deepening ecological crisis – trapped in ‘carbon democracy’ and heading for climate and ecological breakdown • But: Don’t Lose Hope!
  6. 6. Global Awakening
  7. 7. The Come Back of Democracy From Below • Transnational Activist Direct Action – Seatle 1999 • Worker Take Overs and Factory Occupations – Argentina 2001 • Arab Spring - 2011 • Occupy Wall Street - 2011 • Indignados in Spain - 2011 • Peoples Decentralisation and Participatory Budgetting in Kerala, India and Brazil • Brazilian Street marches - 2013
  8. 8. The State of SA Democracy
  9. 9. Way Forward – Strengthen Impulse to Build Democracy From Below • Solidarity Economy Movement (SEM) and Food Sovereignty • Achieving Climate Justice -Climate Jobs Campaign and Socially Owned Renewables • Marikana and Worker Committees • Assemblies of the Excluded
  10. 10. SEM and Food Sovereignty
  11. 11. Climate Jobs Campaign and Socially Owned Renewables
  12. 12. Marikana and Worker Committees
  13. 13. Assemblies of the Excluded
  14. 14. The Information Connection – Embedding the Library and Advancing Democracy from Below • The Library as a space of Community Empowerment – seminars, teach ins, information portal • As platform of Community Dialogue – exhibitions, book launches, documentary screenings, supporting community media production like newsletters, pamphlets • As a place for fostering a culture of learning – community education forums
  15. 15. Invite to Liasa • Join the emerging social and environmental justice coalition to strengthen and deepen democracy -20 years democracy initiative • Join with COPAC and the national food sovereignty campaign to advance food sovereignty in communities – zero hunger in South Africa!
  16. 16. Thank You for Listening and Engaging • Dr. Vishwas Satgar • Email: vishwas.satgar @wits.ac.za • Useful websites: • www.copac.org.za • www.amandla.org.za

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