About Democracy and Other Problems.
This is my new Substack. I’m excited. I will be sharing challenging and unusual takes on the democratic idea—and extensions and refinements of my theory of “democratic minimalism” which I outline in my new book The Problem of Democracy (You can read an excerpt in The Atlantic here— “Can Democracy Exist Without Liberalism?”). I’m also excited about building a community where I can interact, discuss, and debate with readers more directly outside of the chaos and bad feeling of Twitter.
Why become a paid subscriber?
Some posts will be free and available to all. Some posts will be paywalled, particularly the ones where I’m still experimenting with unformed ideas. I do like the idea of restricting readers to those who are committed to good faith exploration of deep difference. In the new year and with your support, I will begin hosting subscriber-only threads and chats as well as trying out new things with audio.
And now on to content and substance:
I believe that the question of what to do when democracy produces “bad” outcomes is the fundamental political question of our time. This is dear to me. It’s, in a sense, personal. I was on the side that lost a great debate. For now. I want to have a particular space—this space—to write more about democratic minimalism for and to people who are ready and willing to re-orient their own understanding of democracy and why (or whether) it is good. Can the “problem” of democracy be resolved?
I don't mean to sound like a preacher, but I hope that some of you will read about "democratic minimalism" and adopt it as a way of practicing democracy, including right here at home. But I also hope you will use this space to challenge, criticize, and push back.
My book The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea is available here.
I write a monthly essay on culture, politics, and religion for The Atlantic, which you can find here.
I’m also the co-host of Wisdom of Crowds with my good friend Damir Marusic, arguably the most eloquent and brilliant Croatian-American essayist of his generation. The pod is available on all major platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.