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Publisher's Summary

They say we live in a democracy. We are free, and we should be grateful.

But just how “free” are we? How democratic are our so-called “democracies”?

Is it enough to simply elect our leaders and sit back, helpless, as they rule over us like dictators? What good is selecting our politicians, if we cannot control our media, police, or soldiers? If we must blindly follow our teachers’ and bosses’ commands whilst at school and in the workplace, is it not a little naïve to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies? And if our resources are controlled by a tiny cabal of plutocrats, bankers, and corporations, can we honestly say that our economies are being run for us?

Could things not be a little bit more, well, democratic?

Indeed, they can! Democracy: A User’s Guide shows us how.

In this story-filled book, we shall visit Summerhill, a democratic school in the east of England, before stopping off in Brazil to check out Semco, where workplace democracy is the name of the game. We will travel to Rojava, to explore life in a democratic army, and head to Spain to see why Podemos is giving liquid democracy a go. We shall travel back in time to see democracy at work in hunter-gatherer societies, tribal confederacies, the guilds, and on the commons. We will consider the case for participatory budgeting, deliberative democracy, collaborative hiring, community currencies, peer-to-peer lending, and much much more. 

The message is clear and concise: Democracy does not have to be a pipe dream. We have all the tools we need to rule ourselves.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Joss Sheldon (P)2020 Joss Sheldon

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A Schizophrenic's Romp

“The information they deserve” – a quote from this book is at the heart of why it is a schizophrenic thing. The book is long on information, but short on cause, effect and consequences. I would say “on one hand, he says this…” etc. but the author is examining Democracy from so many different angles, he keeps getting in his own way. In the introduction, he describes himself as an anarchist. An anarchist systematically studying a series of systems? Odd. The book is well written and well researched, full of large-scale and small-scale examples of democracy. He also illustrates why Britain’s and America’s public school system is systemic garbage and wholly monstrous. So, good on ya there. He writes with rapturous prose the small, neighborhood communes in Venezuela, then moves on to the next system without showing any negative effects. When there was an historical problem (mass murder, starvation, totalitarianism), the author breezes past this on onto the next example. It is possible to study issues and come to the very wrong/worse conclusions. Because it is so well researched, I will give it 3 stars. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Eye opener and Thought provoking

I have listened to the preview and found the narration excellent but doubted if it can deliver a complicated and debatable subject - no, I am not against Democracy, but what IS Democracy?

The introduction pulled me in with the author belittling him self and the book but making it attractive but many groups of people like me.

Simple, hilarious and respectful. Excellent tone (both writing and narration) with varied examples with a respectful tone with few jokes and "British" sarcastic complaints to make a heavy subject lighter.

If I will comment on something then it will be that I wished the editor changed read/reading to listen/listening.

Thank you very much Joss Sheldon and Ian Pringle!