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ASTRA TAYLOR on Voting, Democracy, and People Power /206

For The Wild

Science & Medicine

In past US general elections, about 60% of the eligible population voted, and while this may be the year that changes, it’s been shown that democracy is suffering globally - with total declines not just in participatory voting, but in political rights and civil liberties. This leaves us wondering, do we truly yearn for democracy? Are elections our only avenue for democratic participation? This week we are joined by the indomitable Astra Taylor who reminds us that “elections matter, but they are not synonymous with democracy”. As we find ourselves in the thick of an overloaded election year; we’ve all been thinking about what voting does and doesn’t accomplish, or whether or not it inadvertently upholds the system driving our demise. Is voting simply harm reduction at best? How can we engage in democratic processes beyond the ballot box? Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of three acclaimed philosophical documentaries: What Is Democracy?, Examined Life, and Zizek!, all of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor is the author of the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, her latest book -- Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone -- is just out in paperback and audiobook. Named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the LA Times, she co-founded the Debt Collective, a groundbreaking membership organization that has won over a billion dollars of debt relief for poor and working people. Music by Tan Cologne and Leyla McCalla. Visit our website at forthewild.world for full the episode description, references, and action points.


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