Roberto Unger

Heard Roberto Unger talk last night on BBC R4 Analysis, at LSE with a student audience I believe, on the subject of democracy and freedom.

Suffice to say he reinforced my points in the recent “Everybody Wants a Revolution” series of posts.

Democratic freedom comes with “obligations” – not to be confused with coercion and enforcement – we are all individually free to ignore our obligations, so long as you’re prepared to take the social consequences.

Similarly those obligations involve taking action towards social solidarity – helping others – in addition to using those freedoms to make your own way in the democratic world.

Disruption can be a valid tactic, but the aim should always be towards solidarity. Refusing to engage in the current political system, not voting, can have protest value, but is not constructive. Interesting in societies where voting is “compulsory” (see above) not voting has greater visible impact and value. In any event the aim must be towards something better, having some idea of what it might take to be better – greater value to the whole.

[Links to add later.]

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