Elizabeth Anderson, “The People Themselves: Between Revolution and Representation from 1789 to Port Huron and Beyond”
The Port Huron statement marked an important moment in the history of democracy by calling for full participation by the people in political life. I situate this call in the context of the history of the people themselves taking control of their collective life, from the French Revolution to the present. Throughout this history, the struggle for democracy has been shaped by tension between participatory and representative forms. I shall show how the Port Huron statement proposed a resolution of this tension by drawing on the resources of American pragmatism.