Democracy and Nature: The International Journal of Politics and Ecology, Vol. 3, No. 2, Issue 8 (1995)

Why 'Democracy & Nature' ?


Society and Nature (S&N), from the first day of its publication, attempted to draw a clear line between competing currents in the ecological movement and the Left in general; those which, taking the system of the market economy and representative democracy for granted, do not explicitly pose the question of radical social change, and those who see the causes of the present multi-dimensional crisis as rooted in the fundamental political and economic structures of the existing socio-economic system and the corresponding ideologies that "justify" it.

As OUR AIMS have always clearly stated, the journal's pages have always aspired to be a true forum for the interchange of ideas among people involved in radical social movements. In this sense, the journal has always been pluralistic and it will continue to be so, as is testified by the fact that it has already published articles from almost all major currents of radical thought. Still, the dialogue that S&N initiated and encouraged never aimed at the achievement of some sort of "convergence" between irreconcilable views, e.g between the views expressed in OUR AIMS and the views of people who do not question the system of the market economy and/or of representative democracy suggesting, for instance, that radical movements should take part in the US presidential elections or in the Euro-elections. Our aim has never been to add to the present ideological confusion in the Left and the Green movements. Dialogue for S&N always meant the debate between clearly defined views so that readers may be left alone to make up their own minds in choosing between the various tendencies expressed in the journal's pages.

Yet, after more than three years of theoretical work Society & Nature has reached a level of maturity in its problematique that we feel should be reflected both in its title and in the statement of OUR AIMS. At the same time, ideological differences, like the ones mentioned above, intensified or emerged for the first time between the editorial board of the journal on the one hand and the publisher of the Greek edition, primarily, as well as some members of the advisory board on the other. Those differences and some irresolvable disagreements about the future direction of the journal led to a break with the Greek publisher and it became inevitable to start Democracy and Nature. Still, the change in the title is not a choice that has been imposed on us just by legalistic constraints.

As the new statement of OUR AIMS stresses, the project for democracy is more than the only liberatory project left after the failure of the state-socialist project. As the new statement of Our Aims stresses, the project for democracy is more than the only liberatory project left after the failure of the state-socialist project. Although heteronomy and hierarchical structures have been dominant throughout most of human history, still, it was the emergence of the market economy two centuries ago and the consequent growth economy that has led to the present systemic multi-dimensional crisis (ecological, economic, political, social). In this sense, democracy is the only way out of the crisis. And that is because only a socio-economic power, irrespective of gender, race, ethnic, or cultural identity, can eliminate the relations of exploitation and domination and also constitute the necessary condition (though not the sufficient one) for the reintegration of humans with nature. We feel, therefore, that the new title expresses accurately the goal of this journal to explore the relationship between the specific form of society we aim at, democracy, and nature in the course of developing a liberatory project for a direct, economic and ecological democracy.

Democracy and Nature aims therefore to become the international forum for Democracy. Our goal is to reclaim the radical democratic tradition and revive the democratic project not least because we perceive it as the only option for the liberation of both society and nature!