============================================================================ From: "John Pozzi" <•••@••.•••> To: <•••@••.•••> Subject: Re: How do we keep our movment from getting hijacked? Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 18:28:00 -0500 Dear X, A direct democratic movement that includes everyone on earth can't be hijacked. John Pozzi http://www.grb.net beyond the matrix ============================================================================ Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 07:23:52 -0800 (PST) From: Jessica Markland <•••@••.•••> Subject: Re: How do we keep our movment from getting hijacked? To: •••@••.••• This is a really important question. In the late 60s I joioned the Radical Feminist movement in Toronto. They wanted to have a leaderless group, and formed us into small cells. My experience was that they were so much opposed to having leaders, that most people were scared to volunteer for anything or take the lead with an idea. So basically those who formed the mvoement, and were not scared, were the leaders. Also, in my opinion, our movement in Toronto, in the early days, also got a bit sidetracked by the number of lesbians who joined and whose agenda was certainly different from mine. I have only scanned your material on this, because I'm on vacation and can only access Internet via local library, but it needs a lot of thought. Perhaps an anti-manifesto? This is what we are not. This is how we do not behave. So members can have some awareness of what a hijacker might be like? ============================================================================ Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 11:43:12 -0800 To: •••@••.••• From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••> Subject: Re: How do we keep our movment from getting hijacked? Dear Richard: As usual, I love your perceptive coherence. I think you/we are hot on the trail of something important here.... Did you know that you can get a book created for free, using the new print-on-demand technology? I know you're trying to write a coherent book, but I think you might consider getting some of your essays published in this way while you do the coherent one. Take a look at http://www.Xlibris.com . Rosa and I will most likely be using this approach to get some stuff off my website into book form. You also might consider publishing some of the correspondence like this in a FAQ on your site, since you ARE answering questions, after all... A few comments on your essay: > Nonetheless, 'an-archy' - the absence of hierarchy - provides I believe the key to answering your question. As regards terminology, I think the word 'decentralization' means about the same thing as 'an-archy', and it isn't quite as frightening to contemplate. So I tend to talk about 'centralization' vs. 'decentralization'. you might try "panarchy" - rule by everyone/everything/the whole (it is basically synonymous with "self-organization", the creation of order [governance/rule] by the whole system or organism] > business. The second is that we, in the course of civilization, have not not had nearly as much practice with decentralized structures as with centralized ones. True, "in the course of civilization." In prehistory, however, we had a lot of experience with decentralized structures. It is useful to note that "civilization" has "civ" at its root. Civ is CITY. Hard to decentralize a city, but that's part of our challenge, isn't it...? > So what we are looking for is a way for 'the people' to _first deliberate, and _then to decide what they want. Some intriguing approaches to this that I've just learned about in the last several weeks, include: Philadelphia II/ Direct Democracy. http://www.vote.org and http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_p2dd.html Plan for a Healthy Democracy http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_PHD.html Referenda - http://www.democracyinnovations.org/referenda1.html Philadelphia II is one of the most "out of the box" proposals I've ever seen. The people involved seem a bit arrogant, but they have done good work. I think it is a useful concommitant structure-proposal to the more freely-evolving movement you are envisioning. > I am now beginning to work with others in pursuing research of various kinds aimed at demonstrating and customizing these processes - and bringing them to the attention of wider audiences. We believe that a few strategically chosen 'success stories' might have a transformative effect on 'movement consciousness' and lead to widespread application - and ongoing refinement - of the methods. Can you give me more info on this project, even if it's an "imagineering" story, so that I could it put up on my innovations website (hopefully to attract further participation/support)? > A recent successful precedent can be found in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where for years a participatory process has been used to manage the city's budget. People first get together in neighborhoods, and then delegates get together at higher levels, and so on until a budget emerges for the whole city. The process is made possible because the Brazilian Workers Party has been elected to office in Porto Alegre, and in the surrounding province. But the party does not 'run' the process hierarchically, and does not determine its outcome. There are one and half million people in Porto Alegre, and they have found a way to harmonize their various interests without using hierarchical methods. But we need to be honest here. One and a half million people aren't involved in this. I understand that 10-20,000 people actually participate in these meetings -- which is still amazing. But it isn't a million. However, surveys suggest that 85% of the people support the process -- even in the face of an antagonistic local press. That is a very important fact. I'm wondering if perhaps the ideal of universal participation needs to be qualified to allow for various kinds of volunteer and representative conversations that aren't as mathematically inclusive as the one you outline. Off the top of my head right now, I think the guiding principles might be something like this: a) Does everyone who WANTS to participate get to do so in ways that (1) suit their level of interest and (2) are fair, considering the population of everyone else who wants to participate? b) Are all perspectives/voices (stakeholders, whole population, meta-voices [earth, future generations, etc.]) adequately respresented in the conversation? c) Is the essence of the dialogue (if not always the dialogue, itself) visible to the larger community (usually through the media, online, briefings, etc.)? d) Is there a dialogue-rich culture in which all this is taking place, so that there are hundreds of informal conversations happening around the periphery of the central conversation, digesting its implications? These informal conversations set the stage for (e) and (f). e) Are there ways for the larger population to provide input into and, ultimately, to pass judgment on the progress and/or conclusions of the dialogue being carried out on their behalf? (Final voting is the simplest approach to this, but there are many others. (e) is the form of participation that, in the absence of (a)-(d), turns into the manipulable democracies we're familiar with. However, it is essential and, when combined with (a)-(d), very powerful.) f) Perhaps most importantly: Does the entire process seem to the larger population like it reflects their views and needs and provides a satisfactory approach to collective decision-making? (This is the question of "legitimacy" -- the ability of a decision, policy or system to engage the cooperation of the people without the use of force. Since PR can [and, in modern societies often does] generate a pseudo-legitimacy, it is important to have a meta-process for regularly reviewing how well the deliberation/decision-making process is serving the people's needs. An interesting attempt to do that is suggested in http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_PHD.html .) See also http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_publicparticipation.html Coheartedly, Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * http://www.co-intelligence.org * http://www.democracyinnovations.org Do you value what we are doing? Help us keep doing it. We are supported by kind words and tax-deductible contributions from generous people like you. Checks can be made out to The Co-Intelligence Institute PO Box 493 Eugene, OR 97440 =================================== Dear Tom, Thanks for your lively thinking. > I'm wondering if perhaps the ideal of universal participation needs to be qualified to allow for various kinds of volunteer and representative conversations that aren't as mathematically inclusive as the one you outline. What you are describing, at risk of over-simplifying, can be called a 'jury' approach. Those seem like they would be of value in _any society, and fair play to you for promoting their use under current cirumstances. At the same time, one needs to have a primary governance mechanism of some kind. My investigations have convinced me that voting is an inherently dysfunctional mechanism for that purpose - whether it be for candidates or for referenda. Also, centralized power structures, I believe, are inherently self-aggrandizing, and cannot provide sustainable self-rule. Hence, I think it is essential to develop our understanding of how a fundamentally bottom-up system can be made to work. Within such a political environment, I'm sure the jury-type system would be employed as a way of dealing with specific projects in a representative way. --- How ironic that you should express interest in: > I am now beginning to work with others in pursuing research of various kinds aimed at demonstrating and customizing these processes". _You are one of the people I consider myself to be working with in this regard! We've influenced one another rather harmoniously, and we're each working away. As far as I'm concerned we're doing research together. Rosa and I have talked about some specific project we'd like to pursue, and I hope we'll be able to pull something together by the time I get there in August. And I keep getting introduced to new people, and new initiatives - the network keeps growing. Just today I learned about the Chaordic Alliance, which seems to have some useful angles in it. in collaboration, rkm ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ Please take a look at "A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can change it" http://cyberjournal.org/cj/guide/ A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Capitalism is the relentless accumulation of capital for the acquisition of profit. Capitalism is a carnivore. It cannot be made over into a herbivore without gutting it, i.e., abolishing it. - Warren Wagar, Professor of History, State University of New York at Binghamton Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .