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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...
Within the pages of 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.
Get your copy of Joss Sheldon's new masterpiece today...
With a degree from the London School of Economics to his name, Sheldon had spells selling falafel at music festivals, being a ski-bum, and failing to turn the English Midlands into a haven of rugby league.
Then, in 2013, he stumbled upon McLeod Ganj; an Indian village which plays home to thousands of angry monkeys, hundreds of Tibetan refugees, and the Dalai Lama himself. It was there that Sheldon wrote his debut novel, 'Involution & Evolution'.
With several positive reviews to his name, Sheldon had caught the writing bug. He visited Palestine and Kurdistan, to research his second novel, 'Occupied'; a masterpiece unlike anything you've ever read.
But it was with his third novel, 'The Little Voice', that Sheldon really hit the big time; topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and gaining widespread critical acclaim.
In 2017, he wrote 'Money Power Love'; a love story that charts the rise of the British Empire, and the way in which bankers, with the power to create money out of nothing, were able to shape the world we live in today.
A year later, he released what is arguably his greatest story to date, 'INDIVIDUTOPIA: A novel set in a neoliberal dystopia'. Fans of 1984 will love this fast-paced classic, set in a world in which corporations rule supreme.
Now Sheldon has returned with his first work of non-fiction. 'DEMOCRACY: A User's Guide', combines his conversational tone with a series of entertaining anecdotes and thought-provoking ideas; asking what can be done to make our political systems, economies, schools, media, police forces and armies that bit more democratic.