Dario Azzellini is an assistant professor at the Institute for Sociology at the Johannes Kepler University in Austria. He has published several books, among them The Business of War, about the privatization of military services. He edited, with Immanuel Ness, Ours to Master and to Own. His latest film documentary Comuna Under Construction (2010) examines self administration in Venezuela.
"Taxation without repsentation" is a familiar rallying call of protest in the United States. But according to Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini, co-authors of They Can't Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, protest movements in the U.S. and around the world are going beyond representation, and rejecting it in favor of self-organizing and horizontal organizing.
Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini's They Can't Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, released earlier this month, is making a splash in the news this week. The book explores the new and revolutionary mass movements that have sprung up worldwide, pushing for a new kind of democracy. ROAR Magazine calls it a "fiery indictment of electoral politics and a riveting defense of real democracy," as well as "a timely new book" in an era where there is a crisis of representation within global movements.
Also this week, co-author Azzellini, featured in an episode of the international talk show Quadriga, offers his thoughts on the political effects of the European Central Bank's dropping its benchmark lending rate to .15 percent.
In their forthcoming book, They Can't Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini explore recent social movements that have sprung up around the globe. As the revolutionary horizons of Occupy Wall Street have again faded to a muted reformism, the stories of bravery, cooperation, and action in these movementsare needed now more than ever.
As part of the launch for the book, Sitrin wrote for OpenDemocracy about some of the noteworthy engagements with direct democracy in Argentina, where people are fighting against capitalism and transforming their relationships to each other—and themselves in the process. From La Rioja to Cordoba, people are working together to "defend what they hold in common," resisting everything from mountaintop mining to Monsanto's toxic seed treatments.