Are democratic institutions possible?
But we can dream...
"The history of institutions is a history of domination."
"(True) democratic institutions offer a service, satisfy a need, without conferring advantage over others or conveying the sense of dependence that institutions such as welfare agencies do."
Reimer imagines a democratic institution as being more a network of equal participants rather than a hierarchy of bosses and workers.
"Institutions which confer or maintain an advantage over others...tend to be production systems rather than networks."
He predicts that the wealthy will suffer under a truly democratic institution, those with advantage will need to give up some of their power and possessions in favour of those weaker, less powerful, less wealthy.
"The choice ultimately is between two completely different styles of life. One is egalitarian, pluralistic and relatively sparse in the kinds of products and services it provides. People have to do things for themselves, but have time and freedom to do what they want. The other kind of life is based on a unified hierarchy of privilege,maintained by international, inter-class and inter-personal competition."
So we are left with a choice - democracy or domination?
I haven't read much provocative stuff like this in the last 20 years.
Have the idealistic hippy radicals of the 60s and 70s been consumed by the commercialism and materialism of the 80s, 90s and 00s?
What happened to our dreams of a better (=simpler) world?
Just as video killed the radio star, did the internet kill the interpersonal-network?