Project header

Election Day

A form of democracy so minimal that it comes down to nothing more than insisting that ruling elites should occasionally consult with “the public”—in carefully staged contests, replete with rather meaningless jousts and tournaments—to re-establish their right to go on making decisions for them.

Consensus decision making is typical of societies where there would be no way to compel a minority to agree with a majority decision—either because there is no state with a monopoly of coercive force, or because the state has nothing to do with local decision-making. If there is no way to compel those who find a majority decision distasteful to go along with it, then the last thing one would want to do is to hold a vote: a public contest which someone will be seen to lose. Voting would be the most likely means to guarantee humiliations, resentments, hatreds, in the end, the destruction of communities.

-David Graeber