[pp.int.general] Consensus and power (before Re: Reflections on the PP GA)
zzbbyy at gmail.com
Sat Apr 19 16:32:08 CEST 2014
That language problem sounds difficult. We'll need translation and
until machine translation is good enough for this - this means that
someone will have to translate the stuff for the local parties. If we
designate people to do that - what we eventually get is some kind of
representative system - where the translators represent the local
Personally I don't see this as a problem - but I guess it depends on
what is your goal.
My goal is to have some communication structure linking all the pirate
parties that works. The current one does not work - because not many
people use this mailing list or even the leaders maling list (read and
For that goal we need a communication channel that:
1. Matters. Taking part in the discussions requires some effort - so
people will only do that if they feel that this effort leads to
2. Is fair - democratic and self-governed.
3. Is efficient - the effort for reading it and writing is not too big.
On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM, Betiel <betielix at gmail.com> wrote:
> that´s a good point. the other problem I see is language. Not all pirates
> feel comfortable writting english and for sure many doesn´t understand
> English at all and that can discourage many pirates to participate.
> Regarding the first problem, well nobody said participating would be super
> easy. There always be the issue of having to read lot of emails, and many of
> them won´t say any usefull but I think it worth the try.
> What makes me doubt about using this list for a consensus, is the language
> issue. Perhaps we can think all together how to solve it. The first step
> should be to ensure all the pirate parties arround the world are aware on
> this tentative change, specially the ones we don´t hear here much so they
> can participate and tell us how they would like to proceed..
> 2014-04-18 0:32 GMT-05:00 Zbigniew Łukasiak <zzbbyy at gmail.com>:
>> That was very thoughtful!
>> For now I have just one comment about using this mailing list for
>> anything serious. The problem with this is that not many people read
>> this mailing list any more - there were too many flamewars and people
>> got tired of that. This is not unfixable - but for some ideological
>> reasons it was decided that this mailing list has no rules. Nobody
>> would propose something like that for an in-person meeting - but
>> somehow any way of limiting the individual expression on-line is
>> considered censorship.
>> On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 10:31 PM, seykron <seykron at partidopirata.com.ar>
>> > 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
>> Zbigniew Lukasiak
>> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
>> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
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