carne on decision making

via nika dubrovsky‘s tweet.. (for museum of care‘s decision making doc):

Interview with Carne Ross for  #CollectiveDocumentary​ #MuseumOfCare​ #D… via @YouTube

Original Tweet:

carne ross and accidental anarchist et al

notes/quotes from (58 min ) video – simona, michel mr, anca, nika, and carne:

nika: maybe start w distinction between people forced to make decisions together and people who just decide whatever.. how would direct democracy work in these diff settings

3 min – c: big thing i’ve learned is dd is a process.. a culture an ecology.. not so much a decision to make choices or in a particular way.. in a sense.. that’s the easy bit.. to say we’re going to have fully participatory/equal dm.. what’s much harder is creating a culture where that is feasible..

ie: cure ios city.. imagine if we

huge.. hari rat park law et al and getting to legit voice ness (aka: a means to undo our hierarchical listening)

c: because when you have lots of people who are used to hierarchical dm .. and *he who shouts loudest has their way.. it’s very difficult to institute equal/participatory dm in that circumstance

even deeper.. *most/all of us don’t know our way.. we need that non hierarchical listening.. non trumped listening to get/back to fittingness.. the legit itch-in-the-soul.. so that we can get back/to grokking what enough is

currently.. and foreverly.. decision making is unmooring us law.. democratic admin et al.. killing us softly

c: ie: zucotti park.. which i attended many times and in the working groups of occupy.. it was very difficult to shake the cultural habits of hierarchy.. t


why we need the mech to have a detox embed.. or we’ll never get everyone in sync and we’ll never get to see the dance .. rather.. we’ll just keep on perpetuating tragedy of the non common

c: i think what i became convinced about was that genuinely participatory dm can only flourish in a system where it is broadly understood culturally by people and where there is an ecology of dm on those terms.. surrounding any particular forum.. so that in a sense.. it’s mutually reinforcing

yeah.. to break loose.. what we need is to experiment with (focus on) curiosity over decision making.. ie: imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

4 min – nika: yes that’s right but it’s also interesting.that most of the dd projects throughout history.. coming out of crisis.. so actually when people are well they exist in structures.. but when something happens fin/mental/hurricane crisis then people started to collab and naturally help each other and created these horizontal connections

c: yeah.. i think that’s absolutely right.. rebecca solnit has made the same observation.. about how people behave in disaster that people tend to collab more spontaneously on a more horizontal level

rebecca solnit

more about the disaster knocking us out of those habits..

5 min – 2 major ie’s of anarchist org ing.. of social org ing w/o govt.. spanish civil war and rojava in ne syria.. both came about in situations of crisis .. where the existent govt was essentially erased and there was a kind of tabula rasa.. *where new structure could grow up

rojava’s third way

*or rather.. what was already there could be uncovered.. from that jolt/detox of the crisis

c: and in both cases there was a very strong cultural understanding of leading figures.. socially important figures.. of how horizontal dm should be practiced.. because there are techniques.. there’s a tech aspect to it of how we should practice it.. it *doesn’t just arise spontaneously necessarily..

not for whales.. whalespeak.. but it *would if we were all legit free.. and all in sync


although rebecca solnit observed that people do collab/cooper in situations of disaster much more easily than they do when they are in existing hierarchies.. as you say.. existing hierarchies tend to fix people into certain habits of dm and they’re very difficult to break out of ..

so imagine how much more the dance would flow if we were all legit free (aka: no more whalespeak).. not just being jolted out of habits via crisis..

6 min – c: very difficult to break out of hierarchies because power is entrenched in those h’s and people are very reluctant to let go of whatever power they have

begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening.. let’s focus on that first..

michel: on 90s and yugoslavia and z’s w diff results.. 1\ war 2\ z’s community/negotiations/diplomacy.. what happens when these situations w countries that degen into wars

8 min – c: don’t know that much about mexico.. but i do a bit about yugo.. and there it was about chaos and the break up of the existing communist state system.. exploited by govt.. w ethnic tensions .. so used crisis as ethnic cleansing.. so there was no existing culture of bottom dm that could flourish there.. it was deeply h.. state based..

nika: on yugo.. factories controlled by workers.. bottom up.. to me.. country collapsed.. taken apart by germany.. because it was working competitively.. so of course.. interesting to see how z’s closed/separated themselves.. ie: language.. closed access to communities..

11 min – c: well i don’t share that assessment about how the war/break-up in yugo happened.. i think germany’s actions may have exacerbated the break up at particular pts in yugo.. w recognition of croatia.. but i don’t think germany deliberately engineered the collapse to state because alt model as competition.. and i don’t think many in yugo would think there was a legit bottom up way running the econ.. there was a startling B that commanded everything.. where had to get permission to do everything .. a deeply corrupt B.. if you talk to any people that actually lived in it.. they don’t have anything a great deal positive to say about it

12 min – nika: yeah.. that’s probably a diff conversation.. because now everything owned by germans.. B is still there and it’s corrupt.. whether

c: this is all true.. i don’t deny it.. i’m not saying everything turned out to be well..

michel: how about saying how govt/diplomats make decisions.. and between countries and amongst al.. and how do they do it when upset about govts

spinning our wheels w spinach or rock ness

we gotta let go

14 min – c: in my experience.. in an extremely structured h manner.. where B’s and officials try to 2nd guess the preferences of the political authorities.. choices may be formulated by the most jr officials.. who have been approved at diff layers of h.. not participatory/egalitarian.. it does produce participation.. but it is highly efficient honed well oiled system

what you’re describing goes for any form of m\a\p – we just don’t see it as clearly.. decision making is unmooring us law

efficiency ness is killing us

15 min – michel: can you talk about how they deal w knowledge.. w who knows what’s going on.. because one of the things we’re dealing with is the people doing the work know what’s going on and the people who are in some sense at the top of a h don’t always know what’s going on.. so .. good decisions based on to what extent people listen to the knowledge.. or to what extent people can adapt the desires to knowledge on the ground

way deeper.. ie: most/all data today is non legit (it’s whale data).. intellect ness is killing us

c: well.. i’ve argued in books and elsewhere that the whole system of diplomacy is considerably divorced from reality and deals w symbols .. shapes.. and terminologies about reality *which do not necessarily reflect reality

not just diplomacy (the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country’s representatives abroad.).. any/all data/intellect .. again.. it’s all based on not-us and dead ness

*way way way deeper.. because 1\ beyond diplomacy.. all data/intellect ness and 2\ only reflects whale reality.. which is a dead reality.. so not a reality.. so it doesn’t reflect reality at all.. not just doesn’t necessarily reflect it.. huge distinction..

we’re spinning our wheels (aka: sucking all our energies) on tragedy of the non common

we need to get back to living ness.. alive ness.. to organism as fractal ness

c: but even w/in those systems.. knowledge may be held at the jr level.. but not necessarily shared at the sr level..

talking levels is cancerous.. to me.. makes us all start being fake/dead

16 min – c: nevertheless.. the participants in those systems believe the wisdom is sequestered at the top and that those people of the dm tree are able to make competent rational decisions on basis of info that is filtered up to them.. but almost by defn in a pyramid based dm system.. knowledge is reduced as it goes up thru the dm tree.. there’s less and less awareness of the reality at the bottom of the pyramid.. at the top of the pyramid.. so you can see those systems are inherently weak.. in terms of making knowledge based decisions.. the more you go up the tree the more prejudiced/biased.. and existing politicals formed/determined decisions.. rather than actually w knowledge of the complex reality

this is all waste (tragedy of the non common) .. so much deeper than this.. ie: decisions about spinach or rock ness.. doesn’t matter who’s making them or what they decide if we’re all still dead – to reality

17 min – c: as for how decisions are made between countries.. that’s a very diff matter.. very specific structure of dm.. diff forms at diff places.. each (ie: un) have own rules.. and then more informal as well .. again.. doesn’t produce justice/competence/rationality.. but it is efficient.. i don’t think it’s democratic.. it’s not transparent.. it doesn’t necessarily produce good decisions.. but it is established and does run smooth

oi.. what we need is (formal/universal) mech to legit free people .. over transparency (freeman structure law (?) et al)

19 min – nika: what do you think about this dual power.. when dd exists.. ie: rojava’s local/global communication.. how decisions made w 2 bodies.. and if we talk about z’s.. have unofficial method of delegates.. going back and forth.. i guess that’s how they build this protection territory.. we still need all these entities to communicate w each other somehow .. and what would be your idea.. how would it work

ie: 2 conversations as infra.. as means to undo our hierarchical listening.. otherwise.. so much flapping.. wasting our time/energies.. et al

shoot.. coming back.. now times are diff..

25 min – c: i think it’s quite feasible .. i mean i think it’s often times one of the criticisms of these systems is how would states deal w each other if demo.. but as long as delegates are accountable to local dm.. and recallable.. in other words.. there is true accountability.. then feasible that rep could speak for local in international forum

oi.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

26 min – c: difficult to say this is a perfect system.. i think there is more empirical investigation needed in what’s going on in rojava before people celebrate it as a paradigm as dd system.. but it is perfectly plausible to have local interacting w international.. as long as fully accountable..

27 min – nika: would you rewrite rules or leave them as are for international?

c: i think you wouldn’t want to replicate ie: un.. but would want to make decisions by consensus..

decision making is unmooring us law

michel: on money and everybody at table ness et al.. what happens when org states and some have money and some don’t

seat at the table ness

29 min – c: i think building dm system on international level is very challenging

31 min – nika: intro simona.. w diem25.. and now so many movements.. interesting how that could actually happen.. decentralize the state

32 min – simona: problem is we started an endeavor to have people all over europe/world speaking many diff languages yet having one goal

idiosyncratic jargon ness..

33 min – simona: idea was highly experimental so .. let’s try and adjust in the moment.. path becomes clearer during the work.. i can’t see we succeeded in both grassroots and international at same time.. i wouldn’t take diem25 as a success from this pov.. i would ask a suggestion on how to deal w it

ie: cure ios cityimagine if we

34 min – simona: is it possible to make something like z’s and rojava w/o closing borders..? so not just in one country

c: of course it’s possible.. i think we will see it emerge.. i’m very encouraged about bottom up dm.. because i see a crisis.. so more interest in anarchistic bottom up models.. i’m optimistic.. but how it will happen.. can’t predict.. because has to happen naturally.. it’s up to other people to establish them.. i don’t think i have a model of revolution in mind of how these changes could come about.. and i would be resistant to anyone suggesting there were such a model

there is a how .. not a model of how people would be/act/whatever.. but a how to create the conditions for people to do/be whatever.. we focus on infra.. because people have to be legit free first..

this is why we keep spinning our wheels in tragedy of the non common.. because we haven’t yet gotten to a mechanism simple enough .. as infra (because we can’t seem to let go of control enough to believe it could work)

graeber model law

37 min – anca: what are the conditions for this to happen.. the ones who left – ursula le guin story.. people start to leave.. what are the conditions for more people like you to leave these powers/structures.. why did you leave.. what is the point.. how can we bring more people.. in the moment of crisis

infra/org has to be based on something 8b souls already crave.. so that it’s legit choice/itch that moves us..all.. because currently.. we all need moving/leaving.. not just those in ‘power’

38 min – c: i can only speak for me.. it required a crisis and that was the iraq war.. a lie told to me by my govt made me make a choice whether to stay and collab w that lie or to leave and do something else.. my conscious demanded i leave.. had the crisis not happen.. i’d probably still be a diplomat today.. not a real happy one.. i didn’t feel i had autonomy or agency in that system.. but i do think crisis was what was necessary.. i think we see these waves of crisis where people are questioning the system failing.. and then they start to look for alts.. i don’t think you convince people intellectually

graeber model law

39 min – anca: but is there a structure for people to leave and be caught be some kind of net.. ie: can people leave and come to you.. or to diem25?

c: such a net doesn’t exist.. i wish it did.. i’m aware of orgs trying to support whistleblowers more generally.. that would be great if there were more established systems for that..

exactly.. so we need the infra for that net (8b people legit free)

40 min – michel: in terms of dm.. what (factored in to how you’re trajectory played out).. what is it amongst a group of people that think.. ie: my govt doesn’t have knowledge to do what’s going on..

43 min – i’ve written extensively about what happened.. but in essence i rep’d on weapons of mass destruction.. we made a claim about iraq’s thereat.. ‘we believed not a threat’.. then govt changed.. govt claimed had legit evidence.. and i knew evidence base had not changed.. so i knew it was a lie.. very clear to me.. forced me to make a choice.. so it was very specific to iraq war

44 min – nika: clear to me that z’s and rojava had structures.. in ours only structure i can see this network of rebellion and demo cities.. (bookchin).. these structures seem more relevant.. because take on peasants like z’s.. ie: i don’t know any of my neighbors.. so very diff to be immersed w others.. so i think this demo citizen may work

45 min – c: habits of collab .. as rebecca solnit and several others have observed.. exist already.. these are innate/inherent .. we are social.. ready to collab if given opp.. we’ve just not been given opp.. so not necessarily a radical thing.. we’re already ready to do that.. t

exactly.. what we need is an infra for 8b people org’d around something already in all of us ie: curiosity over decision making

46 min – c: on just needing to set up forums for decisions to take place.. ie: barcelona and rojava.. radical mayor set up forums for more participatory dm.. so for me it doesn’t need to be that big a step for these dm structures to come about

dang.. already off focus.. let go

c: we can’t expect them to happen spontaneously.. we do need somebody to set them up.. i personally think we could see a lot more of them setting them up locally.. which would then become a demo ref point and would be superior to (existing govt).. i think we could see a movement of forums of that kind

red flag we’re doing it wrong.. no?.. set up infra for curiosity over decision making.. yes.. but infra/forums for dm.. that’s what we’ve been doing forever..

47 min – c: but as i said before.. i don’t know how these forums would be set up.. collective dm is plausible where things that matter take place.. ie: hospital, school.. to set up collective dm that would have legitimacy thru participation

48 min – simona: i’m not sure i agree.. human being is something very elastic.. change following circumstances.. and we are now faced to a generation that is grown up alone.. face to computer.. no longer normal to go out and play w whoever.. normality is keeping child inside in front of tv/computer.. so i’m scared of the lack of social competence that this gen may have

safety addiction et al

we all need detox.. mech/infra/org needs a detox embed

50 min – simona: my 2nd objection to the idea that we are instantly prepared to coop is yes for sure we coop.. but i have been in movement that occupied uni many yrs ago.. and i’ve partly been in movements that squatted places to make enclosure of a new society .. and what i saw each time is initial coop/horizontality.. and then as if h’s were normal as if more able to speak/network and act power relationships to emerge.. not the best.. but gain in a way.. i don’t think coop is the most natural thing.. but demo/horizontality need an artificial stride to stay

that’s because demo is not natural..

52 min – c: i think i agree w you at both points 1\ a more computer lit society may have difficulty w f to f collab.. i’m not sure that’s true.. but there are ways to do horizontal w tech.. that replicates some of advantages of f to f.. i used to think.. could only do f to f.. but taiwan is ie that able to do it virtually..

53 min – c: 2\ always a tendency for h and power structures even in horizontal orgs.. the tyranny of structurelessness is a seminal text for me.. *we saw it in zucotti park.. we saw defective h’s emerge.. people who regard selves as more pure than others ie: staying all night in park.. and it wasn’t great to see

freeman structure law (?)

*but via my interp of david’s interp of jo.. i don’t think z park is a good ie.. it’s more of tragedy of the non common (because not about transparency et al.. about the right mech for infra)

54 min – c: truly horizontal equalitarian demo is *very hard.. as a process.. it requires constant work.. on how anarchists should pretend it’s easy.. it requires systems/habits/constant-vigilance.. **and the awareness of imperfection

oi.. huge oi..

*takes a lot of work ness is a huge red flag.. but we keep sucking it in – because we never let go enough (of democratic admin et al) to see the legit natural dance of us..

**rather.. the embracing of (seeming) imperfection.. ie: carhart-harris entropy law et al

c: so when i say or tendency to collab is instinctual .. it’s initial.. it’s there.. we want to coop.. we are social beings.. we exist because of each other.. and that fundamental characteristic to me offers great optimism.. but the way in which you do it.. the structures in which you do it *require work.. constant attention/maintenance

dang.. wish you could hear me.. exact opp.. we’re working too hard at the wrong things.. we need to let go.. have a solid inherent infra in place.. that everyone already craves.. and just let go.. and trust that/us

imagine if we

simona shaking head yes.. but not because it’s right.. because she’s tried so hard with all these diff initiatives.. doesn’t want to take it lightly.. all these good people.. giving it their all.. but missing the center of the problem.. the center of the infra.. the center/essence of us

55 min – michel: might point out that the structures of h and violence also require lot of work.. they naturally dissolve.. ie: training over and over in rote manner.. because ie: normally people don’t like to kill people.. so prefig politics that changing anything requires that people have some type of experience/image that they’re working towards

so.. yes.. in our current intoxicated state (all of us whales).. we need (at least a temp) infra w a detox embed.. but it doesn’t/can’t require training.. or that everyone has experience/image of what they’re working towards.. back to the beginning.. what is needed are the conditions (8b people legit free) for everyone to not need training et al.. for 8b people to already be/have/know enough.. again.. if legit free



1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people

56 min – anca: i was thinking of how young gen may not have experience of coming together socially.. and thinking of unis and paris commune.. and how easy it is in these moments of high tension to build something w walls.. and i was thinking.. maybe this new gen.. there needs to be an exit.. this idea of confinement is not inline w democracy

graeber and wengrow freedom law

57 min – c: i agree.. anarchists believe in autonomy.. and i think some a’s think that can’t happen in org’d system.. i don’t believe that.. i believe some min level of org is necessary.. esp this sophisticated society w sophisticated econ.. need forums and rule making.. et al.. very hard to design/fulfill.. but i think it’s plausible.. but i do think system is necessary.. and i think any system is *going to inhibit people’s freedom to some extent.. that’s the price to pay

dang.. that’s just what the web is allowing .. that we can have a system/org/infra.. that doesn’t do that.. (or you prefer.. that only requires 33 min a day).. that does allow for 8b people to do whatever they want.. everyday.. (as long as there’s detox embed to get us all back/to natural state).. a system/mech/org than undoes our toxic hierarchical listening

*this is exactly why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity.. we keep thinking we have to have some form of democratic admin

let go

nika: last questions..?

59 min – michel: in sm scale politics we talk about how difficult to build communities.. because not perfect.. prefig politics.. small moment where people come together.. even if not successful.. opens up imagination.. on level of international/cultural politics.. big scales.. are there moments that you think are prefig demo.. what would that take.. a prefig global event.. that would help people think about peaceful futures

glad you asked.. but for small and large.. small is {ginormous} beautiful ness

ie: cure ios city

1:01 – c: almost by defn the ideal pre fig action would require mass participation .. at level of diplomacy always small groups.. but at that level i have seen pre fig.. in person.. where there is a quality if interaction i have not seen.. where you have put people together who have not normally been put together.. powerful occasion of human interaction.. so not impossible even in circumscribed diplomacy.. but by defn.. but would require abolition of diplomacy.. of elite idea.. would have to be more participatory..

nika and anca cheering at abolition ness.. and small group ness

actually.. won’t work until it’s all of us.. everyone in sync.. which today we have the means to faicl that chaos

imagine if we

nika: so on that very radical note.. of abolition of democracy.. i mean diplomacy.. in our hope for democracy we will see this future that you talked about

nice slip up (to me) .. we need to let go of democracy as well