It is notoriously difficult to define the absolute contours of a social-democratic movement. What extent and depth of mass participation constitutes the validity of such a movement? What confers democratic efficacy on the determinants of such a movement? Can a social-democratic movement be analytically distinguished from a social-democratic revolution? These are difficult questions. The above caveat issued, it would not be a stretch to state that it is clear that the PTI is not in the ‘revolution business’, if by revolution we mean the monolithic singularisation of the working class towards imminent ideological deliverance. We would probably be more on the mark to define it as a movement. But, the question that we must ask is, what is the foundational effect of such a movement? Will it effectuate an ingenious interpretation of politico-ethical responsibility? Will it issue a radically inventive political principle? Or a wholly remodelled brand of trans-class politics? The answer must be a resounding no. What is radical about the effect of the movement is that it seeks to fundamentally heighten an ‘intervening participatory consciousness’ that prospectively cuts through Institutional density. In other words, it gestures towards a ‘participatory cut’. Yes, there are stark differences between the melange of oppositional movements that have sprung up in other countries (Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Greece, Chile, Nigeria, South Africa) and the PTI movement in Pakistan but what must be understood is that the movement in Pakistan is not particular in the imaginal extravagance of its demands. An extravagant political imagination is seen as the only response to the paucity of imagination that Institutional democracies the world over are perceived to be espousing. These movements cannot only be reduced to the desire to see the construction of more equitable economic architectures, this of course is critically important, but there is also the prevalent belief that the Institutional imagination of national-Institutional democracies are not commensurate to the ‘surplus political imagination’ of the vox populi. It is convenient to brush off the PTI as squandering vital political energy in the pursuit of objectives that are perceived to be amorphous and indeterminate. To a certain degree we must admit that the charge is a rational one. If the PTI had instrumentalised this energy to propose a range of radically new legislative packages there is the possibility that they would have been able to meet the demands of any critique made regarding the rational trajectory of their movement. One would not be grossly amiss to suggest that we are witnessing is the dawn of a new expressionistic politics, founded on the ‘strum und drang’ (storm and stress) notion that subjective expression in the radical deployment of human agency can be instrumental in re-defining the terms of democratic governance. All this talk though of an imaginative remodelling of the political landscape can be highly dangerous. The ecstaticism of a participatory cut can quite literally cut both ways. There is always the potential that the very institutions towards which a romantic-participatory ethic is directed may become fractured beyond recognition; compromising the very object towards which such an ethic orients towards as well as the rational institutionalisation of participatory energies. This is an instability that cannot be attributed to any single political party but rather is an instability that inheres in the interior conceptuality of Democracy. The blogger is a lawyer based in Lahore.