Why democracy is a long, hard, slow business

Marc Stears, our Chief Executive, writes for the New Statesman

Chief Executive Marc Stears wrote for the New Statesman’s New Times series on the future of the left:

Too many of us have learned to measure our democratic impact in retweets and Facebook Likes. Others mistake the immediate satisfaction of a march or a rally for the action required to sustain change. Still others profess to believe that the favoured device of dictators and demagogues over the centuries – the plebiscite – is somehow a sign of democratic health.

None of this is democracy. Democracy is a long, slow, hard business. It requires sacrifice and virtue. It requires listening to the views of others and it demands an acceptance of the necessity of difficult choices. It requires, above all, commitment to forging a common good out of the disparate and varied material of our social and economic lives, a good that recognises the worth of everyone whatever their differences. If we don’t do this, we don’t do democracy.”



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