Democracy has never been more at the forefront of society. From grassroots campaigns to large-scale protests, a human-centred framework is reborn at the drop of a hat from what Fukuyama coined ‘repatrimonialisation’.

If the Euro crisis led to a distrust in the financial system and capitalism as a whole, the expenses scandal and the lack of accountability of the political class has divided UK citizens between an anti-establishment feeling and a low level of political participation. Public figures born out of this movement; notably Owen Jones, a reinvented Russell Brand and populist UKIP leader Nigel Farage, are successfully utilising this anti-system narrative to galvanise the masses and are becoming symbols of a new era. Meanwhile, new grassroots organisations including People’s Parliament, 38 Degrees or the People’s Assembly are offering new ways to participate in politics and civic life.

This is an interesting time for Britain. Following a rich debate on the Scottish Independence and being on the cusp of the 2015 General Election, a fundamental change of the socio-economic and political landscape is long overdue. The end-goal? A more equal, inclusive and fair society whose social value is at the very heart of it. An example of this, the not-so-long-ago events involving #occupydemocracy – ‘a working group emerging from Occupy London to build a social movement for genuine democracy that is free from corporate influence’ – whose members were subjected to police abuses with breaches to freedom of speech and reunion in the most emblematic place in the UK; Parliament Square. This was followed by the arrest of both Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Green London Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Jones, MP; also the scandalous allegations that police attempted to recruit activists as informers during both students and UNCUT’s marches.

From the university cuts to increasing privatisation of the NHS, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to fracking, we are already experiencing the effects of bills we haven’t agreed to so if people can no longer express their views freely and safely, there is something primarily wrong in the way we outline democracy.

On the flip side, the Anonymous group is leading towards digital activism by hacking large corporations or extremist groups. Social media  will make sure that freedom of expression is respected – at least so far, it seems so. Before this, the Million Man March mobilised thousands in London and was recently recalled by the award-winning film-maker Patrick Ireland who has just released a trailer for the new documentary ‘Anonymous: A Million Men’ in collaboration with Shout Out UK. As a celebration of Guy Fawkes, the radical ‘Anons’ gathered on the 5th of November and called for a revolution and a complete revamp of the system. The march that linked over 400 cities worldwide stressed the level of global dissatisfaction on a huge scale, utilising a much more connected world.

To be clear, I am not calling for revolution or voting abstention but these actions do make a clear point, and worldwide protests on that scale cannot be ignored. The risk of the discontent increasing is inevitable. If global networks are necessary to call upon citizens’ participation and raise awareness about endemic problems including accountability and trust in politics, I doubt that democracy will be able to survive just through these networks. First, they are decentralised, atomised and fragmented. Second, as a result of the first point, they have no potential for autonomous political or social management. Finally, experts, even though widely criticised by anti-bureaucrats, will be required in various sectors such as finance or healthcare. However, networks have unlocked the potential of what a ‘digital Agora’ could look like and revealed how to re-attribute the power to the people.

Let’s build on the momentum and achieve concrete outcomes. Starting with a re-engagement of voters young and old with politics. Followed by a promotion of transparency and development of innovative and inclusive ways of participating in the political process. These could start with online non-conventional political parties. As a final point, solutions for political and socio-economic challenges should be designed in conjunction with the end-user leading towards a more collaborative society.

DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.