post-democracy in Stalder 2018

s Facebook and Google will receive particular attention
as the most conspicuous manifestations of this tendency. Here, under new
structural provisions, a new combination of behavior and thought has
been implemented that promotes the normalization of post-democracy and
contributes to its otherwise inexplicable acceptance in many areas of
society. "Commons," on the contrary, denotes approaches for developing
new and comprehensive institutions that not only directly combine
participation and decision-making but also integrate economic, social,
and ethical spheres -- spheres that Modernity has tended to keep
apart.[]{#Page_6 type="pagebreak" title="6"}

Post-democracy and commons can be understood as two lines of development
that point beyond the current crisis of liberal democracy and represent
new political projects. One can be characterized as an essentially
authoritarian system, the other as a radical expansio

ete "relations of production"
or, in more general terms, as social relations. Without claiming to be
comprehensive, I have assigned the confusing and conflicting
multiplicity of actors, projects, and institutions to two large
political developments: post-democracy and commons. The former is moving
toward an essentially authoritarian society, while the latter is moving
toward a radical renewal of democracy by broadening the scope of
collective decision-making. Both cases involve more than just a few
minor changes to the existing order. Rather, both are ultimately leading
to a new political constellation beyond liberal representative

::: {.section}
Post-democracy {#c3-sec-0002}

The current dominant political development is the spread and
entrenchment of post-democracy. The term was coined in the middle of the
1990s by Jacques Rancière. "Post-democracy," as he defined it, "is the
government practice and conceptual legitimization of a democracy *after*
the demos, a democracy that has eliminated the appearance, misc

concerning fundamental questions. All that remains is "police logic," in
which everything is already determined, counted, and managed.

Ten years after Rancière\'s ruminations, Colin Crouch revisited the
concept and defined it anew. His notion of post-democracy is as follows:

::: {.extract}
Under this model, while elections certainly exist and can change
governments, public electoral debate is a tightly controlled spectacle,
managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the technique of
persuasion, and

ut a lasting separation between
social participation and the institutional exertion of power. These
developments, the everyday instances of which may often be harmless and
banal, create as a whole the cultural preconditions and experiences that
make post-democracy -- both in Crouch\'s strict sense and the broader
sense of Rancière -- seem normal and acceptable.

In an almost ideal-typical form, the developments in question can be
traced alongside the rise of commercially driven social mass media.
Their shape,

title="141"}to an -- albeit invisible -- authority figure
(paternalism).[^35^](#c3-note-0035){#c3-note-0035a} The ideal sought by
the authors is a sort of unintrusive caretaking. In the spirit of
cybernetics and in line with the structures of post-democracy, the
expectation is for people to be moved in the experts\' chosen direction
by means of a change to their environment, while simultaneously
maintaining the impression that they are behaving in a free and
autonomous manner. The compatibility of this

grams. We have been warned
of the establishment of a "police state in reserve," which can be
deployed at any time, but these warnings seem to have fallen on deaf

::: {.section}
### The normalization of post-democracy {#c3-sec-0009}

At best, it seems as though the reflex of many people is to respond to
even fundamental political issues by considering only what might be
useful or pleasant for themselves in the short term. Apparently, many
people consider it normal to []{#Page_146 type="pagebreak"
title="146"}be excluded from decisions that affect broad and significant
areas of their life. The post-democracy of social mass media, which has
deeply permeated the constitution of everyday life and the constitution
of subjects, is underpinned by the ever advancing post-democracy of
politics. It changes the expectations that citizens have for democratic
institutions, and it makes their increasing erosion seem expected and
normal to broad strata of society. The violation of fundamental and
constitutional civil rights, such as

d above are concerned, Bauman\'s
conclusion may seem justified. But as an overarching assessment of
things, it falls somewhat short, for every form of power provokes its
own forms of resistance.[^61^](#c3-note-0061){#c3-note-0061a} In the
context of post-democracy under the digital condition, these forms have
likewise shifted to the level of data, and an especially innovative and
effective means of resistance []{#Page_149 type="pagebreak"
title="149"}has been the "leak"; that is, the unauthorized publication

roduce the results
desired by the planners who issue them. In order to reconstruct this
process, it is necessary to have access to these large amounts of data.
With such information at hand, it is possible to relocate the
surreptitious operations of post-democracy into the sphere of political
debate -- the public sphere in its emphatic, liberal sense -- and this
needs to be done in order to strengthen democratic forces against their
post-democratic counterparts. Ten years after WikiLeaks and three years

the balance in their favor
for the long term. Despite the forms of resistance that have arisen in
response to these new challenges, one could be tempted to concur with
Bauman\'s pessimistic conclusion about the irrelevance of freedom,
especially if post-democracy were the only concrete political tendency
of the digital condition. But it is not. There is a second political
trend taking place, though it is not quite as well
developed.[]{#Page_151 type="pagebreak" title="151"}

::: {.section}
Commons {#c

organization that
are able to implement it for the long term and in the face of
resistance. In this regard, the side of the commons has a great deal
more work to do.

Yet if, despite all of the simplifications that I have made, this
juxtaposition of post-democracy and the commons has revealed anything,
it is that even rapid changes, whose historical and structural
dimensions cannot be controlled on account of their overwhelming
complexity, are anything but fixed in their concrete social
formulations. Even if i

f all the
historical achievements that may be associated with them -- the dispute
over what world we want to live in and the goals that should be achieved
by the available potential of the present is as open as ever. And such
is the case even though post-democracy wishes to abolish the political
itself and subordinate everything to a technocratic lack of
alternatives. The development of the commons, after all, has shown that
genuine, fundamental, and cutting-edge alternatives do indeed exist. The


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