Why the Consensus Process Has a Poor Track Record in Activist Movements


Naked Capitalism has the article Why the Consensus Process Has a Poor Track Record in Activist Movements.

If the forty-year persistence of consensus has been a matter of faith, surely the time has now come for apostasy. Piety and habit are bad reasons to keep using a process whose benefits are more notional than real. Outside of small-group settings, consensus process is unwieldy, off-putting, tiresome, and ineffective. Many inclusive, accountable alternative methods are available for making decisions democratically. If we want to change the world, let’s pick ones that work.

The article is short on listing the techniques that work, but we shouldn’t fault the article for that. It is valuable to be able to see a problem that others have not seen so well, end explain its origins and symptoms. Coming up with definitive and workable solutions to these problems is a much rarer talent than is the already rare talent of identifying a problem few others can see. In other words it is too much to expect that everyone who can articulate a problem can also find a solution to it.

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