The Egalitarian Collective
The basic premise of any egalitarian group is that all the members of the group are valuable: everyone's opinions deserve to be heard, and everyone's input is necessary for the group's efforts to proceed in the appropriate
spirit of collaboration. Ideally, the process should be different from that
used by many other kinds of organizations, because it must not simply result
in one side winning and the other side completely losing, which would be
antithetical to egalitarian goals.
Especially when an egalitarian group opts to decide by consensus, it needs to be vigilant about making sure every point of view is considered. It must discourage the kind of debate that takes place simply to push forward a particular position, because it needs to arrive at solutions upon which everyone can agree. In order for everyone to give consent freely, there must be no coercion or unequal power. Thus, the absence of hierarchy and authority is not merely an added stipulation; it’s essential to the process itself.
The handbook that we hope to put together with your input is provisionally
entitled Troubleshooting the Collective Process. Initially, it will be issued in a series of booklets, to be synthesized
Click here to see the current table of contents of the first three booklets: Book One, Book Two, Book Three.
Click here (Intro and Booklet One) (Booklet Two) (Booklet Three) for an easy-to-print, complete copy of the book as it stands today. Because this is a work in progress, the material will continue to change.
This site is a work in progress. Its purpose is to build a handbook on collective process, discussing the ways that egalitarian collectives can function equitably and fairly, with an emphasis on troubleshooting problems and offering viable options when things break down. It's designed for groups committed to equality, democracy, and anti-authoritarianism.
We invite everyone's input.
In order to build a meaningful resource for collectives everywhere, we
would like to include different viewpoints and experiences. Everyone is
welcome to submit ideas, insights, problem resolutions, points of disagreement
with the current authors, and personal experiences from working within
egalitarian groups. Additionally, if you're in the New York area,
please feel free to contact us about meetings.
The Common Wheel Collective
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nLinks to thought-provoking essays, problems encountered by collectives, and basic texts on collective process.
n Recommendations offered by visitors to the site.
nBackground Reading. This project is not an introduction to collective process. For a thorough discussion of the values and structures that underlie consensus and egalitarianism, we strongly recommend the book, Building United Judgment: A Handbook for Consensus Decision Making.