Reclaiming ’common sense’: new pamphlet is a rallying cry to the 99%

By Guy Aitchison

, by OpenDemocracy

Today marks the launch of OurKingdom’s version of ‘Common Sense’, a new ebook by Dan Hind about the Occupy movement and deliberative politics. We are publishing the pamphlet in partnership with Myriad Editions and the New Left Project ↑ , who have brought out their own editions. Below, Guy Aitchison talks to Dan Hind about direct democracy and new modes of resistance.

The title of your new work, Common Sense: Occupation, Assembly and the Future of Liberty, evokes Thomas Paine’s pamphlet of the same name written in support of the American Revolution, and it’s clearly been written with a political purpose in mind. Can you say a little about what motivated you to write it?

It was the growing feeling I had last year that we are in very strange and uncharted waters. We are in revolutionary times in the specific sense that the governing orthodoxy that bounded what we understood to be practical and sensible turned out to be complete delirium. The analogies with the situation in revolutionary America seem very strong and unforced. You had a perhaps more gradual process of disenchantment there amongst an English-speaking population that realised over time that they didn’t need to be ruled by distant kings and aristocrats. The assumptions, about what’s normal and natural, came under terminal pressure over a period of time and interventions, like Paine’s, made a difference.In our day, the governing orthodoxy has crashed around the ears of the people who were benefiting from it and building their careers within it. Yet they’re carrying on regardless. You will still have, for example, three neoliberals for every one critic on a TV panel debate, whereas a discussion that vaguely reflected the current state of knowledge would have three serious critics of neoliberalism and one neoliberal holdout.

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