MARCELO EXPÓSITO ° The (forever postponed) dream of a real democracy

The official political discourses persist in glimpsing the way out of the crisis after each new crisis experienced during the last 15 years. But the truth is that the chain of the global financial crisis of 2007, the public health crisis of 2020 and the climate crisis that sends signals everywhere, not to mention the international militarization of recent weeks, shows that we are not experiencing the misfortune of a series of unexpected global urgencies, but that we find ourselves at the very epicenter of a global systemic crisis: the one caused by four decades of neoliberal hegemony. From the global wave of citizen movements for democratic radicalization that took place between 2010-2013 to the recent emergence of the new global anti-racist and anti-colonial, feminist and LGTBIQ+, and global justice mobilizations, a debate is at the center of our controversies: what to do with respect to the State and its institutions of political representation when liberal democracy has disappointed and eventually collapses, but the new fascisms are preparing to occupy it. This edition of “The Art of Assembly” discusses what happens when social movements win elections. What happens when, even winning elections, we discover that we do not have all the power to govern, and also what happens when our government policies and our new citizen political organizations do not live up to the expectations created and the needs felt? The squares of 2011 shouted: real democracy now! A decade later, we are discovering that real democracy might be an ambivalent horizon of hope that shifts as we blunder.

XVI SHIFTING POWER – WHEN GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS WIN ELECTIONS (Athena Athanasiou, Teodor Celakoski, Marcelo Expósito)
XVI SHIFTING POWER – WHEN GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS WIN ELECTIONS (Athena Athanasiou, Teodor Celakoski, Marcelo Expósito)


Marcelo Expósito is an artist, teacher and cultural critic. As an author and editor, he has published around twenty monographs, including Plebeian Discourses (Icaria, 2020), Conversation with Manuel Borja-Villel (Amaranto Editores & Ediciones Turpial, 2015) and Walter Benjamin, Productivist (Consonni, 2013). He has participated for three decades in social movements for democratic radicalization. 2016-2019 he was secretary of the Congress of Deputies and deputy in the Spanish Cortes Generales.