hi, it's me josh heller. this is where i curate the internet.
bienvenidos a mis internets...
November 18, 2012
Our efforts to construct direct democracy and consensus-oriented discussion resulted in other, similar failures. First, consensus holds groups hostage to outliers. In a group as politically diverse as Occupy, such hostage-taking had conservative effects, generating stasis and hindering results. Second, as we now know, not every decision needs to be made by everyone. When transparency opens up a meeting to police infiltrators, it undermines the very purpose of a meeting. It makes no sense to plan an action in an “open” meeting that might include people whose sole purpose is to disrupt or entrap. Some plans are best made by small groups working in secret, below the radar. It took us too long to acknowledge this because we were handcuffed by a process designed to value participation and consensus above all else. Third, groups operating outside the GA frame lacked respect. Process-fetishism—the displacement of radicalism onto matters of deliberative procedure—prevented us from acknowledging and appreciating what was actually happening: Groups in different neighborhoods, different cities and different countries were springing up and doing actions on their own. This should have been seen as a plus, an indication of the movement’s energy and vitality. Unfortunately, the lack of clarity regarding the relationship between the GA and actions created an irresolvable disconnect between theory and practice.