The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol.1, no.1, (October 2004)
It is with great pleasure that we welcome readers to the new journal succeeding Democracy & Nature whose publication, for reasons beyond our control, had to cease last year, after more than twelve years of continuous work. On this occasion, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who remained faithful to the journal, despite the problems it faced, first as Society & Nature and then as Democracy & Nature. We also wish to thank all those who wrote to us after the announcement of the suspension of D&N last year to express their dismay and the offer to help in any way possible.
We are well aware of the limitations of an exclusively electronic version of the journal given that the printed word is still predominant, not least in terms of the fact that abstracting services (on which a journal’s publicity depends) are only available to a printed journal. This is why we depend much more than previously on your word-of-mouth for the journal to become known to as many readers as possible.
At the same time, however, we should not ignore the vast possibilities that such a form of publication offers. First, because it makes the journal accessible to a much wider readership and not only to those who can afford the subscription rates that publishers charge. Second, because it gives us much more editorial freedom since we no longer depend on the financial or even political criteria of publishers, determining their attitude towards the journal. Although, of course, we would never have acquiesced to any kind of political intervention by publishers on editorial policy, it is still reasonable to assume, as we stressed in the last issue of D&N, that “the uncompromising stand of D&N with respect to the New World Order was in obvious incompatibility with the neoliberal/social-liberal/reformist Left consensus prevailing in academia, which, nowadays, determines the survival or otherwise of any theoretical journal that has to rely on publishers’ commercial considerations for its survival. It is not accidental anyway that the only radical political journals of the Left that still survive today are basically those relying on their own financial resources”.
In the introductory text Our Aims we stress that the purpose of this journal is to become the international forum for the new conception of inclusive democracy that was developed in D&N. That is, direct political democracy, economic democracy (beyond the confines of the market economy and state planning), as well as democracy in the social realm and ecological democracy - in short, the form of social organisation which re-integrates society with economy, polity and nature. However, we also stressed that we welcome contributions which do not necessarily share the ID perspective, if they are considered by the editorial committee and the international referees associated with the journal to be of general interest (see the Notes for contributors for further details). Therefore, although the scope of the journal will not be as broad as that of D&N it will still aim to cover as many facets of the antisystemic Left as possible.
We believe however that it will be a nonsequitur to launch a new journal whose main aim is the discussion of the ID project without first giving a comprehensive idea, particularly to our new readers, of the meaning of it. This is why this inaugural issue contains a dossier on the ID project which mostly comprises unpublished articles on the main aspects of this project.
The Editorial Committee