In an article on Open Democracy, entitled “Digital parties on the rise: a mass politics for the era of platforms”, Paulo Gerbaudo writes of the growth of Politics as a Platform based on ideas from his new book Digital Parties: Political Organisation and Online Democracy The article’s subtitle is, “The old party system appears in serious distress, faced with challengers using digital technology as a means to achieve the utopian goal of a more democratic society”. There’s more below/overleaf …

I suggest that if you read it, read it carefully, the call outs/subtitles are very suggestive that the adoption of digital populism is the inexorable reason for the new parties’ success and it is a service to identify this as a trend but it misses the structural politics and other reasons for the decline in historic parties is glossed over, and he ends with criticism of Politics as a Platform with which I agree. He concludes,

It is true that these parties offer a new model of mass participation that is very effective and could be geared towards progressive ends. However, their digital democracy has so far mostly proven a sham, with participatory platforms being used more a site where the leadership constantly checks and verifies its consensus, rather than a space for authentic decision-making and pluralism.

Politics as a Platform. Not!
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