The following are what I consider parameters of the research project
in non-hierarchical communicatons. You are welcome to discuss / argue any
of these points, but many of them are developed or defended in my papers
located on my first and second theory-laden sites.
- If everyone is equal and no one has power to make or enforce decisions
that directly effect other people, then decision-making absolutely has
to be concentrated, at all times, at the lowest level possible, involving
the least number of people, and concentrating the discussion on the people
most directly affected and most interested in the matter at hand.
- Since issues are often global and all actions and experiences are ultimately
interrelated to those of others, all local issues must be available for
comment and review by the larger community. This aspect of communication
has to coexist with the requirement that communicaton be concentrated at
the lowest levels possible (see above).
- No decisions that are made by any collective group of participants
should be inherently irreversible, even if the parties who at any given
time seek reconsideration of the issue ahve already gone on record as being
in agreeement with the decision already reached and in effect.
- Personality is political, and the tendency of individuals in general
to value certain characteristics in other individuals at times when they
make proposals seeking voluntary cooperation, and to include in their assessment
their memories and awarenesses of reputations of the proposing person.
Rather than being an item to be discouraged or counterbalanced, the sense
in which a person's reputation within the system carries currency within
the system should be encouraged precisely because the personal is political,
besides which fact it is impossible to modify the situation without an
established hierarchy of authority to prevent its occurrence.
- Because of the possibility of good ideas and understandings occurring
at the local level yet not being understood or appreciated among the limited
quantity of people involved at that level, it must necessarily be possible
for individuals to present ideas to people beyond the local level despite
a lack of appreciation for those ideas at the local level where decision-making
is concentrated. Balance between this imperative and the imperative that
decision-making power be concentrated at the local level must acknowledge
- Endeavors that make sense only at higher levels, due to the incorporation
of generalization-based planning on behalf of enveavor-benefitting participants
plus the necessary involvement of large numbers of personnel in order to
implement the endeavor, necessarily require the ability to propose ideas
at levels higher than the local level. See above comment. It is assumed
that solution for both concerns should be identical, for the sake of simplicity
and for lack of any reason to segregate the two concerns.
- If decisions are inherently reversible and all decisions made locally
are subject to some form of review by larger collectivities--implicit in
the two prior postulates--then some format needs to exist in which to establish
relative permanence of decisions made, to prevent a state in which all
"decisions" are infinitely reversible due to the involvement
of people at higher levels.
- For each individual, operating at any given functioning level, it has
to be true that, at least over time and across the span of issues, participation
within the system as organized is more empowering than any available path
of communication that would provide that individual with repeatable, predictable,
avenues of success existing in the same time and space and involving the
same other individuals.
- Paradoxically, all of the above, and this clause also insofar is these
parameters describe the experimental limits of what can transpire, must
also be available for modification within the confines of the experiment
itself, in order to validate the proposed condition of absolute equality
within the structure. (Otherwise, the authors of the rules of the experiment,
as individuals, impose their [most immediately MY] wills entirely outside
of the requirement that no one have power over others). This is paradoxical
insofar as it is posited that these parameters are not in keeping with
the average person's (and therefore average participants's) lifetime experience
in how to interact and make decisions. Therefore, whatever structure is
established for ensuring that decision-making is concentrated at the lowest
levels must also ensure that as the permanence level of decisions is increased,
decisions are increasingly hard to un-make, while still avoiding putting
anyone in power over anyone else.
Continue reading the proposal