Sen. Elizabeth Warren could be a sortition spokesperson

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent remarks on the Senate floor have been viewed half a million times. She decries the coziness of the big banks with government and names names, coming close to Russell Brand and unknowingly making a case for the use of lot.

The questions these sort of sharp, honest protests raise are the following. Must someone as sophisticated as Sen. Warren draw the connection between contributor-driven electioneering and corruption or could one simply attribute it to the acts of an unscrupulous few who break the rules? When does a critic of a system ceased to simply criticize the system’s non-conformity to its own ideals and begin to question the system itself?

2 Responses

  1. Given the dominance of the electoralist doctrine, I think that the step between (a) “the current political system is corrupt” and (b) “electoralism is inherently oligarchical” is very difficult. I think Warren and her likes would have a very difficult time making this step.

    Consider the case of George Monbiot. With his repeated deep going criticism of the exiting system he seems much closer to making the step from (a) to (b) than Warren does. Yet, despite being presented with the case against elections and for the alternative (sortition) he is unable to bridge the gap.

    Warren, who is embedded deeply within the electoralist system, and who is unlikely to ever hear the case against it, is unfortunately very far from being a sortition spokesperson.

    Keeping this in mind, I would still, of course, encourage sortition advocates to write to Warren, and in general to communicate with anyone willing to listen, about the problems inherent in elections and about the promise of sortition as an alternative.


  2. If we continue to insist that sortition and election are mutually exclusive (even though there are no historical examples of a sortition only political system, and the case for such a system is intellectually incoherent), then politicians will never become allies to our cause. Of course for those awaiting the revolution, that’s the last thing we would want.


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