Crises of Democracy: Photo Gallery
In October, we hosted our 10th annual conference titled “Crises of Democracy: Thinking in Dark Times.” Over 1000 persons attended, 300 of whom were Bard early college students from Baltimore, Hudson, Manhattan, Newark, New Orleans and Queens, as well as the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Bard President Leon Botstein opened the conference celebrating the virtues of a vital public sphere, and Roger Berkowitz, Academic Director and Founder of the Arendt Center, discussed four prejudices underlying our crises of liberal democracy. During the two days, conference speakers and participants engaged the question: Has liberal representative democracy failed?
Masha Gessen discussed the trials of political truth in an age of mafia politicians, while AfD member Marc Jongen emphasized the necessity of nationalism to the nation state, and importance of sharing a cultural heritage.
Occupy Wall St. co-founder Micah White explained why Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and the Women’s March are failed protest movements, as Melvin Rogers, Professor of Politics at Brown University, pointed us back to the past to take refreshment in our shared history, and find a non-theological political faith.
Yascha Mounk, lecturer at Harvard, offered the audience a more traditional, liberal view of democracy while arguing that the crisis of democracy is not retreating anytime soon.
The expansive conversation included a heated discussion between Walter Russell Mead, who pushed us to wrestle with the causes of populism in America, and Linda Zerilli, who defended an Arendtian conception of freedom and what it means to act collectively in the public sphere.
Jim Fishkin took the audience on a journey through his public research project Deliberative Democracy, which tries to connect voters to their policy making by polling representative, random parts of the population. The conference was drawn to a close by acclaimed novelist Teju Cole. Weaving together bits of classical music and images from museum exhibitions, Cole argued that the crisis has already happened, and that we are living in the disaster. He left attendees with a question to consider: “If we survive, who will be left after the disaster?”
Interested in watching the conference? Visit http://bit.ly/crisesofdemocracy to view every talk and Q&A session from “Crises of Democracy: Thinking in Dark Times.” Following are additional images from throughout the two-days: