Political, politics & democracy: Sheldon Wolin’s definitions

I shall take the political to be an expression of the idea that a free society composed of diversities can nonetheless enjoy moments of commonality when, through public deliberations, collective power is used to promote or protect the well being of the collectivity. Politics refers to the legitimized and public contestation, primarily by organized and unequal social powers, over access to the resources available to the public authorities of the collectivity. Politics is continuous, ceaseless, and endless. In contrast, the political is episodic, rare.
… In my understanding, democracy is a project concerned with the political potentialities of ordinary citizens, that is with their
possibilities for becoming political beings through the self-discovery of common concerns and of modes of action for realizing them.

Sheldon WolinSheldon S Wolin. “Fugitive Democracy.” Constellations 1, no. 1 (1994): 11–25, 11.

(Wolin, vibrant into his 80’s, is one of my role models.)

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