- Capitalism and Alternatives -

positives and pitfalls

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 23, 1999 at 16:18:31:

In Reply to: mm posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on December 23, 1999 at 10:40:36:

SDF: ALL rights come from society, nobody has ANY rights outside of a society that can provide them. We can describe this physically -- "rights" is a cultural term denoting respect between individuals within a social framework -- no social framework, no rights.

So a cultural framework provides the 'right' to rule by virtue of its respect (or lack thereof) between individuals. I can therefore agree with your conclusion - that modes and systems of social decision-making are of paramount importance to all of society's members, indeed to the well-being of the entire planet. However with regard the above concept of 'respect between individuals' I can see why people have so many disagreements - as people have such different concept of respect, and differenent levels of respect for different indivuals.

:: How does this differ from 'consensual democracy' in practice and in outcome?

: SDF: Three links: (1) -- (2) -- (3)

Thanks for those links. What I gleaned from them is that the consensual process can be very positive - provided the key element is met :

"It is the most powerful decision process as all members agree to the final decision."

I think it better worded "if all members agree to the final decision". And thats is a very big if, and one that gets bigger every time a new person is involved in the process. That anyone can block a proposal if they feel strongly enough is good - but potentially troublesome, especially in large groups. That a major objection is "I cannot live with this proposal if it passes, and here's why ... " means that counter arguments must be well thought out. One would wonder at the interpretation though - lets say a proposal to take all farmland away from farmers meets with a major objection - but its refuted with the argument "but you will live, we'll throw you some scraps". These things have to be carefully planned and defined to reduce the possibility of such abuse. In other words there is a great danger of consensual democracy collapsing to mob rule. It does represent a potentially vast improvement over majoritarianism though - despite the possible pitfalls.

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