From:   Charles Lenchner <>
Sent time:   Saturday, October 22, 2011 9:20:15 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: The Culture of Democracy: We are ALL Leaders

The GA direct democracy model is in fact a shameless conspiracy designed to reduce the democratic participation of many groups. These include the hard of hearing, those who cannot stand for long periods of time, anyone with children or family members at home who need taking care of, and of course shift workers. As the weather gets colder, those with precarious health who should avoid standing outside in the cold wind will also be disenfranchised.

Meanwhile, our class enemies, the healthy and warmly dressed able to tolerate the poor physical conditions of the General Assembly, ignore the others with impunity! I call them the 'toleristas' as they are able to tolerate such poor conditions for democratic participation. If ever a proposal were made to re-authorize the GA in the present form, I would definitely block it. Alas, such an opportunity will never be allowed to come up for a decision. Because the toleristas actually support the current, unjust situation they will not submit themselves to blocking!

So much for the rhetoric of ultra democracy. (If it helps, please imagine all this was shouted and repeated by legions of the unpresent, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have a voice through representatives, assemblies, working groups, clusters, whatever....)

Charles 'Intolerista' Lenchner

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM, kindofblue <> wrote:
IMO, I disagree with the main point.  Sorry, but I believe some form
of representative democracy is essential.  In large governments it is
impossible to be involved in every decision.  This is especially true
if one has a full-time job, or other time-consuming responsibilities
that preclude full-time devotion to governance.  We must delegate some
decision-making, it is only practical.

I cannot make it to every GA, and certainly not every working group
meeting.  That means that I have no voice when I am not present, and
those who are able to be present full-time have a greater voice.  I
disagree with that.  Even if you were able to create some perfect
online system for decision-making people would not have the time to
study every problem and make an informed decision.  I'm sorry, but
that's just the truth, IMO.  Direct democracy only works for small
projects, but beyond a certain size one cannot escape delegation of
some form.  We are currently seeing that in OWS, and I think we should
honestly admit that at some level delegation is required, instead of
resolutely claiming "block any delegation."  If we admit that some
form of delegation is inevitable, then we can work on appropriate
checks and balances to make sure delegation is fair and not
corrupting.  If we don't explicitly acknowledge the issue, then
implicit delegation is bound to creep up.  In fact, it already has.