October 14, 1940 |
|Era||20th / 21st-century philosophy|
|School||Founder of the Inclusive Democracy project|
|Main interests||Political philosophy, Political Economy, Philosophy of Social Science, International Political Economy, International Relations, Social Movements|
|Notable ideas||Inclusive Democracy, the present multi-dimensional crisis, the transnational elite and its wars on terrorism, critique of left-wing politics|
Takis Fotopoulos (Greek: Τάκης Φωτόπουλος born October 14, 1940) is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of classical democracy with libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements. He was an academic, and has written many books and over 900 articles, many in his own journal, several of which have been translated into various languages. He is the editor of The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy (which succeeded Democracy & Nature) and author of Towards An Inclusive Democracy in which the foundations of the inclusive democracy project were set. Fotopoulos is Greek and lives in London.
Fotopoulos was born on the Greek island of Chios and his family moved to Athens soon afterwards. After earning degrees in Economics and Political Science and in Law from the University of Athens, he moved to London in 1966 for postgraduate study at the London School of Economics on a Varvaressos scholarship from Athens University. He was a student syndicalist and activist in Athens and then a political activist in London, taking an active part in the 1968 student protests in London, as well as in organisations of the revolutionary Greek Left during the struggle against the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. During this period, he was a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Groups in London, which published the newspaper Μαμή ("Midwife", from the Marxian dictum, "violence is the midwife of revolution"), for which he wrote several articles.
Academia and afterwards
He was Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Polytechnic of North London from 1969 to 1989, until he started editing the journal Society & Nature, later Democracy & Nature and subsequently the online International Journal of Inclusive Democracy. He is also a columnist of Eleftherotypia, one of the most widely circulated newspapers in Greece.
Takis Fotopoulos developed the political project of Inclusive Democracy in 1997 (an exposition can be found in Towards An Inclusive Democracy). The first issue of Society & Nature declared that:
- "our ambition is to initiate an urgently needed dialogue on the crucial question of developing a new liberatory social project, at a moment in History when the Left has abandoned this traditional role."
and specified that the new project should be seen as the outcome of a synthesis of the democratic, libertarian socialist and radical Green traditions. Since then, a dialogue has followed in the pages of the journal, in which libertarian socialists like Cornelius Castoriadis, Social ecologists like Murray Bookchin, and Green activists and academics like Steven Best have taken part.
The starting point for Fotopoulos's work is that the world faces a multi-dimensional crisis (economic, ecological, social, cultural and political) which is caused by the concentration of power in elites, as a result of the market economy, representative democracy and related forms of hierarchical structure. An inclusive democracy, which involves the equal distribution of power at all levels, is seen not as a utopia (in the negative sense of the word) or a "vision" but as perhaps the only way out of the present crisis, with trends towards its creation manifesting themselves today in many parts of the world. Fotopoulos is in favor of market abolitionism, although he would not identify himself as a market abolitionist as such because he considers market abolition as one aspect of an Inclusive Democracy which refers only to the Economic Democracy component of it. He proposes a model of economic democracy for a stateless, marketless and moneyless economy but he considers that the economic democracy component is equally significant to the other components of ID, i.e. Political or direct democracy, Economic democracy, Ecological Democracy and Democracy in the Social Realm. Fotopoulos' work has been critically assessed by important activists, theorists and scholars.
- (English) Towards An Inclusive Democracy. The Crisis of the Growth Economy and the Need for a New Liberatory Project (London/New York: Cassell Continuum, 1997), 401 pp. ISBN 0-304-33627-0 and 0-304-33628-9.
- (Greek) Περιεκτική Δημοκρατία (Athens: Kastaniotis, 1999), 656 pp. ISBN 960-03-2416-6
- (Italian) Per Una Democrazia Globale (Milano: Eleuthera, 1999), 254 pp. ISBN 88-85060-37-4
- (Spanish) Hacia Una Democracia Inclusiva, Un nuevo proyecto liberador (Montevideo: Nordam, 2002), 325 pp. ISBN 9974-42-098-9
- (French) Vers Une Démocratie Générale (Paris: Seuil, 2002), 250 pp. ISBN 2-02-052846-0
- (German) Umfassende Demokratie, Die Antwort auf die Krise der Wachstums-und Marktwirtschaft (Grafenau: Trotzdem Verlag, 2003), 445 pp. ISBN 3-931786-23-4
- (English) The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy (Entire English E-book publication  of the book with the same title published in Athens, 2005 by Gordios, 334 pp. ISBN 960-7083-69-5. Published in Chinese, 2008. ISBN 978-7-5607-3533-7)
- (Greek) Περιεκτική Δημοκρατία: 10 Χρόνια Μετά (Athens: Eleftheros Typos, 2008), 591 pp.
- (English) The pink revolution in Iran and the “Left” A Special E-Book Issue of the International Journal of Inclusive Democracy (Vol. 5, No. 3, Summer 2009), PDF Version
Books published in Greece
- Dependent Development: The Case of Greece (Athens: Exantas, 1985 & 1987).
- The Gulf War: The First Battle in the North-South Conflict (Athens: Exantas, 1991).
- The Neo-Liberal Consensus (Athens: Gordios, 1993).
- The New World Order and Greece (Athens: Kastaniotis, 1997).
- Inclusive Democracy (Athens: Kastaniotis, 1999).
- Drugs: Beyond the Demonology of Penalisation and the 'Progressive' Mythology of Liberalisation (Athens: Eleftheros Typos, 1999).
- The New Order in the Balkans and the First War of the Internationalised Market Economy (Athens: Staxy, 1999).
- Religion, Autonomy and Democracy (Athens: Eleftheros Typos, 2000).
- Globalisation, the Left and Inclusive Democracy (Athens: Ellinika Grammata, 2002).
- From the Athenian Democracy to Inclusive Democracy (Athens: Eleftheros Typos, 2002).
- The War against 'Terrorism': the Elites Generalised Attack (Athens: Gordios, 2003).
- Chomsky's capitalism, Albert's post-capitalism and Inclusive Democracy (Athens: Gordios, 2004).
- The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy (Athens: Gordios, 2005).
- Inclusive Democracy - 10 Years Afterwards (Athens: Eleftheros Typos, 2008).
- Global Crisis, Greece, and the anti-systemic movement (Athens: Koukida, 2009), 318 pages, ISBN 978-960-94100-0-7
- Greece as a protectorate of the transnational elite (Athens: Gordios, November 2010), 412 pages, ISBN 978-960-6826-18-4
Contributions to other books
- (Greek) Studies on the contemporary Greek Economy, ed. by S.Papaspiliopoulos (Papazisis, 1978). (Takis Fotopoulos' contribution: "Dependent development and industrialisation").
- Education, Culture and Modernization, ed. by Peter Alheit et al. (Roskide University, 1995). (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "The crisis of the growth economy, the withering away of the nation-state and the community-based society").
- (Italian) Complessità sistemica e svillupo eco-sostenibile, ed. by I.Spano & D.Padovan (Sapere 2001). (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "La crisi dell 'economia di crescita. Societa ecologica e democrazia").
- Defending Public Schools, ed. by David A. Gabbard & E. Wayne Ross (Praeger, 2004). (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "The State, the Market and (Mis-)education").
- (Greek) Globalisation, Technology and Paideia in the New Cosmopolis (Atrapos, 2004). (Takis Fotopoulos' contribution: "Contrasting views on globalisation and the myth about the end of globalisation").
- Critical Perspectives on Globalisation, ed. by Robert Hunter Wade, Marina Della Giusta and Uma Kambhampati (Chelthenham, UK & Northhampton, MA US: Edward Elgar publishing, 2006). (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "The global 'war' of the transnational elite").
- Globalised Capitalism, The Eclipse of the Left and Inclusive Democracy, ed. by Steven Best (Athens: Koukkida, 2008). And as Special Issue of "The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy", Winter 2009, in English: Online/PDF (with two contributions by Takis Fotopoulos, "Recent Theoretical Developments on the Inclusive Democracy Project" & "Is Inclusive Democracy Feasible and Desirable?").
- Eco-socialism as Politics: Rebuilding the Basis of Our Modern Civilisation ed. by Qingzhi Huan (Springer, 1st Edition, 2010, XI), 224 p., Hardcover, ISBN 978-90-481-3744-2 (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "The De-growth Utopia: The Incompatibility of De-growth within an Internationalised Market Economy").
- Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex ed. by A.J.Nocella, Steven Best, Peter McLaren (AK Press, Oakland, CA & Edinburgh, 2010), 590 p, paperback, ISBN 978-1-904859-98-7 (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "Systemic Aspects of Academic Repression in the New World Order". A full version of this essay is published in The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 4 (October 2008).
- (Greek) Critical Pedagogy in the New Middle Age, ed. by Maria Nikolakaki, (Sideris, October 2011). (Takis Fotopoulos' Contribution: "From Education to Paedeia" ISBN 978-960-08-0581-9).
- Critical Pedagogy in the new dark ages: challenges and possibilities, ed by Maria Nikolakaki (Peter Lang Publishing, 2012). ISBN 978-1433114274 (Takis Fotopoulos contribution: "From (mis)education to Paedeia," pp. 81-119.)
- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, ed by Frederic L. Bender (Second revised edition), (W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 2013). ISBN 978-0393935608 (Takis Fotopoulos & A. Gezerlis contribution: "Hardt & Negri's Empire: A new Communist Manifesto or a reformist Welcome to Neoliberal Globalization?,” (extract), pp. 232-34.)
- Takis Fotopoulos talk on the Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy, Oxford University, November 2008. Google-video in 3 parts. Part 1 (talk), part 2 (talk/discussion), part 3 (discussion).
- Takis Fotopoulos' Interview to Oliver Ressler about Inclusive Democracy. This is an interview with Takis Fotopoulos taken by Oliver Ressler for his video series "Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies" on July 19, 2003, about the Inclusive Democracy project. English and Greek subtitles are available. In this video, Fotopoulos discusses the constituents of Inclusive Democracy: Political, Economic, democracy at the Social level and Ecological democracy. He is also offering a thorough analysis of the ID' s proposed economic model for a market-less and money-less economy. Finally, he refers to the transitional strategy for the transformation to an autonomous society, for an Inclusive Democracy.
- A talk given by Takis Fotopoulos at the University of Vermont (US) in 1996, followed by a discussion in which Murray Bookchin, Dan Chodorkoff and others take part. Google Video in 3 parts Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- Democracy & Nature Journal
- Inclusive democracy project
- Anarchist economics
- Cornelius Castoriadis
- Economic democracy
- Libertarian socialism
- Murray Bookchin
- (French) "(Towards an Inclusive Democracy) (...) places Takis Fotopoulos in the line of a Kropotkin or a Reclus.", Jean-Claude Richard, "«Vers une démocratie générale», Takis Fotopoulos", Le Monde Libertaire (no. 1311, 13–19 March 2003).
- Takis Fotopoulos bio @ Continuum’s website.
- Takis Fotopoulos bio @ eipcp’s (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies) website.
- He was elected as a member of the Administrative Council of the Law students Union in 1958-59, following the first victory of a Left alliance in which he participated against EKOF, an extreme right wing student association controlled by the 'deep' Greek state , which a few years later, in 1963, was responsible for the murder of Left parliamentarian Grigoris Lambrakis and 4 years later of the military coup which led to the military dictatorship (1967-74).
- As testified by the Left composer Lakis Karalis in an interview in the Athens newspaper Eleftherotypia (06/09/2008) and in an Arts web site Προβολέας.
- (Greek) Archive of Takis Fotopoulos's articles at the website of Eleftherotypia
- Our Aims @ Society and Nature/Democracy and Nature's website
- Jorge Camil, review of Hacia Una Democracia Inclusiva (in Spanish), La Jornada, Friday, 8 June 2001.
- (French) Jean-Claude Richard, review of Vers une démocratie générale, Le Monde Libertaire, no 1311, 13-19 Mars 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Arran Gare, review of Towards an Inclusive Democracy, Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 34 (1), Winter 2002, p. 97-99.
- Michael Levin, review of Towards an Inclusive Democracy, Anarchist Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, October 1997.
- John Griffin, Dodgy Logic and the Olympians, Total Liberty, 1999-2000, p. 10-11.
- James Herod, review of Towards an Inclusive Democracy, Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhoods, LucyParsonsCenter (first printing edition), May 2007.
- See also the "Inclusive Democracy" entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy, (ed. by Barry Jones), Vol. 2 (2001), pp. 732–740.
- “The Inclusive Democracy project – six years on“, (essays on the ID project by Michael Levin, Arran Gare, David Freeman, Serge Latouche, Jean-Claude Richard, Takis Nikolopoulos, Rafael Spósito, Guido Galafassi, Takis Fotopoulos and others), Democracy & Nature, Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2003).
- “Debate on the Inclusive Democracy project (Parts I & II)“, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (January 2005) and Vol. 1, No. 3 (May 2005).
- Takis Fotopoulos, "Inclusive Democracy" in Alternative Economies, Alternative Societies ed. by Oliver Ressler & Aneta Szylak, 240 pages (20 pages in color), languages: English and Polish, ISBN 978-83-924665-0-5 (Gdansk: Wyspa Institute of Art, Poland, 2007). [Published in German/Hungarian by Promedia Verlag, Vienna 2008. ISBN 978-3-85371-291-7].
- Takis Fotopoulos' Archive
- Democracy & Nature
- The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy - ISSN 1753-240X.
- Inclusive Democracy - A transcript of a video interview given by Takis Fotopoulos to Oliver Ressler for the project Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies.
- An Interview with T.Fotopoulos by Indymedia Hungary, April 2005
- Interview for Equal Time for Freethought radio show - [show 247: Takis Fotopoulos, Dec 30th 2007] - WBAI 99.5 FM New York City, 1] read the transcript, 2] listen to the audio mp3—72 Mb