david on consensus

david on consensus vs voting decision making – from fragments of an anarchist anthropology:


the real reason for the unwillingness of most scholars to see a sulawezi or tallensi village council as ‘democratic’.. (well, aside form simple racism, the reluctance to admit anyone westerners slaughtered w such relative impunity were quite on the level as pericles) .. is that they do not vote..


over and over across the world, from australia to siberia, egalitarian communities have preferred some variation on consensus process (rather than voting/democracy).. the explanation i would propose is this:

it is much easier, in a face to face community, to figure out what *most members of that community want to do, than to figure out how to convince those who do not to go along w it.

not to mention the energy we’d save.. the aliveness we’d maintain.. this is:

curiosity over decision making

imagine if we just focused on that.. on figuring out what *all people want to do

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

listen & connect to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

perhaps we can have tech w/o judgment ie: tech as it could be

consensus decision making is typical of societies where there would be no way to compel a minority to agree w a majority decision– either because there is not state w a monopoly of coercive force, or because the state has nothing to do w local decision making. if there is no way to compel.. then the last thing on would want to do is to hold a vote: a public contest which someone will be seen to lose..

voting ness

what is seen as an elab and difficult process of finding consensus is, in fact, a long process of making sure no one walks away feeling that their views have been totally ignored

consensus over voting.. yeah.. i hear you.. still not buying consensus.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. would still be compelling/silencing someone(s)

f & b & dm same law


also earlier from


this often appears to spark a kind of equally elaborate reaction formation, a spectral nightworld inhabited by monster, witches or other creatures of horror.. and it’s the most peaceful societies which are also the most haunted, in the imaginative construction of the cosmos, by constant specter of perennial war.. the invisible worlds surrounding them are literally battlegrounds.. *it’s as if the endless labor of achieving consensus masks a constant inner violence

*that’s it.. that’s spot on man.. and we’re missing it.. ie: if we’re trying to do (or thinking we can/must do) consensus.. we’re masking/hiding a deep violence..

david on consensus


or, it might perhaps be better to say, is in fact the process by which that inner violence is measured and contained

however you want to say it.. it’s thinking we need consensus that is killing us.. keeping us from us.. structurally violating us

and it is precisely this, and the resulting tangle of moral contradiction, which is the prime font of social creativity..

yeah.. i don’t buy that.. (if i’m understanding it right).. i think we think that because we’ve only been observing whales in sea world

we have no idea what legit creativity is.. what legit social ness is..


kevin on democracy

moxie on democracy – yay