[discuss] What is MSism?

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 07:39:49 UTC 2014


-----Original Message-----
From: David Cake [mailto:dave at difference.com.au] 
Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2014 9:49 PM
To: michael gurstein
Cc: Andrew Sullivan; discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] What is MSism?

On 30 Mar 2014, at 1:07 am, michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:

[MG>] Yes and thank you for so clearly articulating my position.  The
magical process by which the one (public interest) somehow mystically
emerges from the concatenation of the many (competing private interests)
intrigues as does much magic which of course gains its aura by misdirection
of attention.

	But there should be no presumption that only private interests are
	The 'public interest' is hard to define, but there are certainly
representatives in MS processes that advocate for various aspects of the
public interest (privacy, transparency, etc).
	In GNSO working groups, for example, the only people definitely
excluded from participation are those who are unwilling to provide a public
statement of interest, and the only major group who practically do not
participate directly is government (largely due to incompatibillity of
working processes, and we are working on streamlining other ways for
government to participate). And most of the civil society participants are
focussed on aspects of the public interest as they perceive it.
	In general, the claim is not that it mystically emerges from
advocates for private interest, but that it practically emerges by including
those who advocate for the public interest within the process.

[MG>] I see, so the 99% of the population not being represented by the
private sector folks or the technical community folks will have their
well-being protected by a group of self-selected actors with no clear
procedures of accountability, who may or may not have been greenwashed, who
have few resources relative to the infinitely rich corporate stakeholders...
Actually sounds rather mystical to me.

Of course, nothing of the kind would or will result -- certainly not an
outcome that in any manner supports the well-being of the broad public which
would include the non-"stakeholder", the poor, the marginalized, the

	Which assumes that none of the civil society (or government)
participants in the process are representing the views of the poor, the
marginalized or the non-users.
This is not, in my observations, the case - many of the civil society
participants bring up those issues.
[MG>] See above...

As they say.. "devil takes the hindmost... What you are suggesting seems to
me to be governance by the powerful and well-connected in the interests of
the powerful and well-connected (unless of course, these folks have against
all likelihood suddenly developed a strong streak of altruism and commitment
to the public good...

	Are you implying that existing civil society participants have no
altruist streak or commitment to the public good?
[MG>] See above

[MG>] The problem with that is that every time I point to an example (as
I've done several times in my blog) the immediate response is--"well that
isn't really MS", or "well there were special circumstances" or "we were
just piloting the process, trust us things will get better...

	I have a similar problem with advocates of a government centric
viewpoint such as yourself. Every time I point out an example of a
government led process that is deeply problematic (most notably the TPPA
process, which is secretive, controversial, and touches on Internet
governance) I am completely ignored.

[MG>] I completely agree about the TPP process... and BTW as I understand
it, it is multistakeholder--governments and the private sector, the problem
is that they forgot to include anyone looking after the broad public
interest.  I personally don't advocate a "government centric viewpoint",
particularly when governments are so actively promoting a neo-liberal
approach of privatization of what should be public and publicly accountable
processes (as with the TPP and IG). My personal preference is for a process
which respects and promotes the public interest and the public good, which
is accountable to the broad population and not narrow private interests.
This I think requires some form of active responsible democratic process. 



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