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View Diary: Socialism is like total equality y'know. (70 comments)

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  •  The coercive impulse that lurks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WB Reeves

    in the desire for consensus is in tension with democracy. To those who demand decision-making by consensus, I say, By all means, try to persuade me. But if I hold to my own opinion, don't hammer at me with the need for consensus. And so long as minority rights are respected, don't use the idea of consensus to frustrate the majority. Bad as it is with a 60-vote requirement (illegitimately) imposed by Republicans, imagine a Senate that could decide matters only by consensus.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:40:37 PM PDT

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    •  Can you tell us -- (4+ / 0-)

      about your experience with "the coercive impulse that lurks in the desire for consensus" in general assemblies in the Occupy movement?  I attended plenty of them, and I experienced no "coercive impulse" in any desire for consensus whatsoever.

      In voting, on the other hand, there is plenty of coercive impulse.  Observe, for instance, the tenor of discussion at in an election run-up.

      "It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it." Oscar Wilde

      by Cassiodorus on Mon May 13, 2013 at 07:53:09 PM PDT

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      •  Irrelevant! (0+ / 0-)

        Most families get on great until there's some money to split up.

        Occupy only had to deal with short term problems and long term wishes and wants.  Had they actually won anything valuable the squabbles would have begun.

        If the anarchists were to "win out" and be in charge of the country what would they do with those who still held out for "government?"

      •  I wasn't speaking of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves, socindemsclothing

        the Occupy movement. But over many years I have participated in too many meetings where the stated or tacit ground rule that the group would decide only by consensus on the one hand gave extraordinary power to a dedicated (disciplined?) minority to coerce a less committed majority (if only by outlasting its members) while on the other hand leading members of a minority, who were entirely willing to be outvoted, to feel a strong moral pressure to satisfy the majority by agreeing not only that the majority had the right to decide but that it actually was right.

        Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

        by another American on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:14:21 AM PDT

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        •  What were the context of these meetings? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher

          Business, activism, other things?

          The ISO standard is determined by consensus and they have a pretty good track record. I can see what you're talking about as a problem in some cases, but that's true of most everything. And if people are intent enough on stopping something then there isn't a whole lot to be done.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue May 14, 2013 at 11:14:45 AM PDT

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        •  This short article by Graeber (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus, Brown Thrasher

          delves into consensus and dispels some of the myths about the intentions of its use by Occupy.

          And he points out that consensus was never held to be the ONLY form of direct, grassroots democracy.

          Worth a read.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:12:24 PM PDT

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    •  I think what's missing here is that when a (9+ / 0-)

      group determines to make decisions by consensus, it isn't about the final vote. It's about learning how to be respectful of all concerned and to become better at generating creative resolutions that everyone can live with.

      We simply wouldn't have the same people in the Senate if we were a society based on consensus. Nothing would look the same.

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