[discuss] What kind of "governance" do you want? (was Re: What is MSism?)

'Andrew Sullivan' ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Sun Mar 30 21:18:37 UTC 2014

I think this is my last remark on this topic, since I'm no longer
convinced we're making progress.  But just so it's clear why I think that:

On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 12:07:02PM -0700, michael gurstein wrote: 

> premises and insights. Rather I would have the feeling that their support is
> more in the form of finding a methodology for continuing and deepening the
> deep corruptions of which they are so evident beneficiaries and which folks
> like you and I are increasingly disgusted with.


> nged-the-political-game.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0> " recently? Even deeply
> flawed (accountable) democratic systems have better outcomes for the 99%
> than ones controlled by plutocrats. 


> As for proposing a system of governance (representation), I think starting
> from traditional democratic structures and processes and then adding
> capabilities (as for example technology enhancements) and adjustments so as
> to reform the system's operations is probably the place to start.

The above appears to be saying that, whatever "MSism" is, it tends to
include those who have funding to participate; the passages do not say
why things might be different in "traditional democratic structures",
though your email provides the case of the US _Citizens United_
decision as an example of pernicious influence of money in decision
making.  I don't think you've addressed at all the point at that least
some multi-stakeholder examples are set up to encourage broad and deep
participation by interested parties (I think I've asked you more than
once to address this point).

Your mail seems to be arguing that, since the influence of money is
generally pernicious, and since "MSism" encourages participation by
people with sponsorship, and since there is a pernicious influence of
money in traditional democratic systems like representative
democracies, therefore we need more traditional democratic systems in
Internet governance.  It's possible I've overlooked some important
subtlety, but to me that position is deeply incoherent.

Finally, I still don't get why Internet governance can't use the
mechanisms that have worked so well for other decision-making on the
Internet.  That seems to me the biggest flaw in the above kind of
argument.  The ways in which vastly different interests regularly come
together on the Internet and work out their differences and thereby
make progress for the Internet is an important bit of evidence in
favour of that style of working.  It's been effective.  That should be
one of our most important values: does an approach work?  It works for
technical decisions, yes, but it also appears to work for policy
issues: it's how RIRs work out their policies.  Without addressing
this fundamental question of, "Does it work?" those who agree with the
position you seem to be espousing will continue (in my opinion) to
have a very weak argument.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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