Sunday, October 16, 2011

Consensus? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Consensus!

A friend wisely noted that I've taken my eye off the ball regarding secessionist "heavy hitters" while digressing into examination of some minor secesher links to the Occupy Vermont - Burlington group and I'm inclined to agree. The thing is that I've a rather low threshold of tolerance for posturing bullshit, a common stance of Vermont's seceshers, and they seem to have lent their talent for that sort of behavior to the OV-Bers; it all just makes me crabbier than usual.

A professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government has recently noted,
"The General Assembly at Zuccotti Park (site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment) is structured to allow participants to arrive at decisions through consensus. A central aim of this arrangement is to avoid subtle processes of domination by small factions and dogmatic leaders that have undermined many social movements."
So I was enthralled on Friday by an ongoing kerfuffle on the Facebook page of the Occupy Vermont - Burlington group. One admin at the page had posted,
"I've just been informed I suck at what i"m doing. And i"m trying to play leader. On that note, good luck guys. my attention will be focused where it will be appreciated."
From there things devolved into nearly a score of alternatively accusatory and sappy, kumbayaish comments of the sort one might expect in such a "decentralized" setting.

The occupier whose feelings got hurt was a Rutland area organizer by the name of Zach Cavacas. For someone who apparently objected to being labeled a "leader," he's sure been acting like one in Rutland; from being the one deciding to obtain and sign for park usage permits, to being the one to decide when or if an event was to be called off on account of rain. But that aside, what struck me was how the "problem" got handled.

Zach had followed up his first posting with a second that suggested that OV-B was sinking, followed by another half dozen or more comments. Not very collegial but certainly an opinion that he was entitled to openly express, as well as those who agreed or disagreed in their comments. Then the real leader of the pack arrived home and saw what had been going on. Result: all posts and comments related to Zach's complaint were deleted, with this statement,
"Good evening.I have NO idea what happened here this afternoon,but I can assure you it will not EVER happen again. Moderator in the house. Everyone is welcome here.Thank you."
The whole leadership issue, along with the superficial lip-service to the idea of consensus and openness, would seem to be a problem directly imported from the seceshers and their hacks who now frequent the ranks of OV-B.

Too bad.

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For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.



At Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 9:39:00 PM EDT , Blogger Ken Fishersolver said...

my name is Kate Ellen Nicholson. I believe Zach Cavacas and Eamon Cahall and Adam Kokesh are agents working for folks. I also maintain the the entire Jarecki family works for the same people, along with Naomi Klein.

At Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 10:48:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 12:03:00 PM EDT , Blogger Thomas Rowley said...

Ah, an anonymous statement and directive in ALL CAPS. That's compelling - NOT! Your OPINION is duely noted.

Maybe you're new to the whole comments thing on THE INTERNETS! Nicholson is the party responsible for her comment and OPINION! Take your complaint, whoever you are, TO HER!

Thanks for stopping by to comment on a more than two and a half year old post.

(Sheesh! Someone's touchy about something)


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