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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 both priorities.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 argument