We are in northern California for a month, and it is hard after the Swedish winter to do anything but stare at the sun and sea on days like this:
Today, on the other hand, was nothing but fog. So maybe that is why I had the energy tonight to pass on a link.
In the middle of Occupy Wall Street, my friend Chris wrote an article for Somatosphere on the People’s Mic.
This got me to thinking about my own brief but intense time in the world of anarchy-inspired consensus decision making. And I wrote an essay that finally appeared in The Morning News.
Here is the top:
There was power in the circle, or maybe it is better to say there were powerful people around the circle. Ostensibly equals, we sat on the patchy grass in the Czech countryside in 1996, surrounded by teepees and with the hellish flames of coal plants flickering on the horizon.
Except I was new, had staggered in at midnight after a three-hour hike and a six-hour train trip and had slept under my jacket under a table my head against someone’s knee, and I was heartbroken, and I really did not care about Ecotopia, this tidy festival in what had been an 800-year-old village whose residents had been driven out in the early 1990s by rapacious coal companies.
The morning meeting was supposed to take half an hour. But we blew past 30 minutes before the first point was even defined, much less decided upon. This was pure consensus—the ultimate in horizontal decision making—so everyone had to agree, and it was a large circle, maybe 50 to 60 people, and you try getting even like-minded environmental activists to come to that kind of consensus quickly.
You can read the rest here.