[pp.int.general] Consensus and power (before Re: Reflections on the PP GA)

Cal. peppecal at gmail.com
Fri Apr 18 15:04:53 CEST 2014

I liked your thoughts on handling relevant dissent. The related problem are
people with extensive political baggage, unable to understand how their
preexisting ideas are controversial. These people usually come from areas
known for an hegemonic approach to politics.

I submitted the article to /r/PirateParty, if we want to try reddit.
Il 17/apr/2014 22:31 "seykron" <seykron at partidopirata.com.ar> ha scritto:

> Online consensus practice in easy enough with our existing tools, even
> applying quite adapted versions of classical techniques. For example,
> the Permanent Assembly might be this mailist. Usually no everyone is
> interested in all topics (for example, only you answered to my email
> about consensus). The advantage of the mailist is that no everyone
> MUST to be present physically on the same location to get involved in
> a decision making, so it promotes participation. The mechanism is very
> very simple:
> 1) You propose a topic to the Permanent Assembly. If someone is
> interested in this topic (usually about a specific issue or activity)
> will get involved in the discussion to enrich the whole perspective and
> make an agreement. In the PPAr we consider consensus when three persons
> agree on a topic.
> 2) If there's Relevant Dissent, the decision is blocked until dissent
> is resolved ("Difficulties in Reaching Consensus" section of the
> Starhawk's article is a good reference to identify dissent). For the
> PPAr, Relevant Dissent means that at least 10% of people involved in a
> discussion disagree. This mechanism helps to avoid the "dictatorship of
> the majority" (or the so called 50%+1 factor) and it also avoids
> blockings from a single person.
> 3) If there's Relevant Dissent, it is a warning sign. Usually in a
> group like pirate parties, personal values involved in a decision
> finally can get closer (or some concessions can be easily made from
> all sides). If it does not happen, it may means that something in the
> organization is declining. I also could mean that the topic is very
> controversial -like abortion, to mention an example-, or even simpler:
> there're misunderstandings on what someone is trying to say (sometimes
> it's very hard to express yourself). In any case, if there's Relevant
> Dissent the decision is blocked and the discussion must be taken away
> from keyboard. For example, it could be discussed in a conference room
> with Mumble, or if it is possible in a bar drinking a beer :). If it
> does not work, there're several unlocking techniques, but I will not
> extend myself on this (some good techniques are explained in "Tools for
> Consensus Process" section of Starhawk's article).
> The key point is: we are all human beings, we make mistakes, and we act
> with good faith. Of course, I'm aware of what "power" means in a
> capitalist, post-industrial society. But the key question for PPI to
> answer is:
> What *power* means for pirates?
> In the PPAr it is always under discussion, however we have consensus in
> this point: power means to build a strong human organization which
> distributes its power between all participants. And these "pieces" of
> power is what legitimates any decision. If an organization grows with
> this kind of legitimation, it is very difficult to take it down, it is
> very consistent on its decisions (which is essential to manage outer
> press and public opinion), and it is very strong despite personal
> problems between people within the organization.
> How to take a decision is the answer to the question "who has the
> power". A decision may imply a lot of economic resources, and we all
> know how we behave when there's money in the middle (in the PPAr we
> work very hard to decentralize money, for example). From here to a
> political party is just a little step, but "why a political party
> instead another kind of organization" is out of the scope.
> If you reached the bottom of this message, I encourage you to think
> about power, how people is involved on it in the real world, and how
> conflicts rise and are resolved by people when there's power in the
> middle.
> Regards,
> Matías
> On Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:37:33 +0200
> Zbigniew Łukasiak <zzbbyy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi there,
> >
> > seykron - good point about consensus.
> >
> > Any ideas how we could translate
> > http://www.starhawk.org/activism/trainer-resources/consensus.html into
> > on-line circumstances?
> >
> >
> > It is possible that we are already a group too large for a traditional
> > consensus decision making - but who knows? We cannot tell if we have
> > not tried.
> >
> > Z.
> > ____________________________________________________
> > Pirate Parties International - General Talk
> > pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> > http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general
> ____________________________________________________
> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general
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