Democratic alternatives to the parliamentary representation from the Greek polis to liquid democracy

Lecture by Jan Sowa

Although the most often we search for the sources of modern democracy in ancient Greece, we rarely know how much Greek democracy was different from known to us parliamentary and democratic regimes. Above all, the Greeks did not vote and did not organize the elections. They were familiar with the institution of political representation, nevertheless, they believed, that the election of representatives by voting gave the demagogues a window of opportunity and led to the most diverse forms of tyranny. Therefore, they preferred the lottery to the vote, considering that only fate is fair and treats everyone equally. Nowadays, there is no shortage of ideas to eliminate the electoral mechanism from democracy, and with it, a bunch of professional politicians for whom striving for political power has become an essence of their lives, as well as a source of income. The aforementioned ideas include such projects as lottocracy, demarchy or liquid democracy. During the meeting, we will look at these and other democratic alternatives to parliamentary policy and we will consider their practical feasibility in contemporary capitalist societies.