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

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 21:47:41 UTC 2014

Again, this discussion has I think, out lived its welcome... My final point... to repeat...

Whatever the (unargued at least by me, since I lack sufficient information to comment) successes/strengths of MS processes such as those within the IETF the issue is not with these but with the clear intention to transfer these processes from the narrow and technical spheres involved in Internet Governance into much broader spheres of Internet associated policy and beyond.  In these latter instances the impact of these processes and their broader limitations (from formal decision making and democratic deficiency perspectives among others) become of central significance.

Frankly, I'm surprised that folks in the technical community aren't agreeing with this perspective since the push-back against this MSist "overreach" will clearly impact on the use of MS processes where they do make sense and are effective.


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of 'Andrew Sullivan'
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2014 2:19 PM
To: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] What kind of "governance" do you want? (was Re: What is MSism?)

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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