The Art of Not Being Governed, in other words, democracy as a form of life

Lecture by Jan Sowa

The protection of democracy has become the number one task for many environments and organizations – both in Poland and elsewhere in the world. But do we really know what democracy is and what is its essence? In the main thrust of public debate, it is either identified with parliamentarism and such liberal elements of our regime as separation of powers or the freedom of media or also understood as the sovereign vigilantism. In reality, however, the liberal-representative regime was not established to be the incarnation of democratic ideals, and the latter is not built at all on the mechanisms of effective arbitrary exercise of power by the majority. Their essence is exactly the opposite: reaching the state of the immanence of power, in which the political community is a constantly functioning constitutive power subjected to the rule of constituted power.