“Radicals need to cultivate a remembrance of things past for in the capitalist civilization […] memory is a subversive weapon”–Sheldon S. Wolin, “Why democracy?”
The “crucial challenge,” as Sheldon Wolin frames it in the first issue of democracy, is “to be as zealous in preventing things of great value to democracy from passing into oblivion as in bringing into the world new political forms of action, participation, and being together.” It is in this spirit, of preventing things of great value to democracy from passing into oblivion, that this archive of the democracy journal issues from 1981-1983 was created. The hope is to revive the vision of Wolin, Nicholas Xenos, and others who first brought democracy into circulation almost 35 years ago by making the journal finally accessible and usable online.
The democracy journal archive project is intended to be a resource for scholars, activists, and ordinary citizens who want to participate in the activity of democracy and the preservation of its public memory. In the same way that democracy invited its readers to keep a radical vision of democracy alive through dialogue, I invite readers to continue this dialogue with each other today.