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16 Aug 2002
Subject: YES!

& thanks...that consensus site is so necessary!

we just started , & really want to use it more to point out the need for honesty & respect in all supposedly "progressive" (urg) organizations, rather than continuing to focus on just that one group.

in solidarity,
"Resistance is the secret of joy." Alice Walker - Be The Media!


28 Aug 2002
Subject: Organizational issues in "The Joy of Revolution"

[Please note that several chapters in the text mentioned below address questions of collective self-organization, direct democracy, consensus, etc. -- in general (chapter 1); in "ordinary" contexts (chapter 2); during unusual radical situations (chapter 3); and "after the revolution" (chapter 4).]
* * *

(Table of Contents)

Utopia or bust
Stalinist "communism" and reformist "socialism" are merely variants of capitalism
Representative democracy versus delegate democracy
Irrationalities of capitalism
Some exemplary modern revolts
Some common objections
Increasing dominance of the spectacle

Personal breakthroughs
Critical interventions
Theory versus ideology
Avoiding false choices and elucidating real ones
The insurrectionary style
Radical film
Oppressionism versus playfulness
The Strasbourg scandal
The poverty of electoral politics
Reforms and alternative institutions
Political correctness, or equal opportunity alienation
Drawbacks of moralism and simplistic extremism
Advantages of boldness
Advantages and limits of nonviolence

Causes of social breakthroughs
Postwar upheavals
Effervescence of radical situations
Popular self-organization
The situationists in May 1968
Workerism is obsolete, but workers' position remains pivotal
Wildcats and sitdowns
Consumer strikes
What could have happened in May 1968
Methods of confusion and cooption
Terrorism reinforces the state
The ultimate showdown

Utopians fail to envision postrevolutionary diversity
Decentralization and coordination
Safeguards against abuses
Consensus, majority rule and unavoidable hierarchies
Eliminating the roots of war and crime
Abolishing money
Absurdity of most present-day labor
Transforming work into play
Technophobic objections
Ecological issues
The blossoming of free communities
More interesting problems

The complete text of "THE JOY OF REVOLUTION" is online at

* * *
The Bureau of Public Secrets website features "The Joy of Revolution" and other writings by Ken Knabb (recently collected in the book "Public Secrets"), Knabb's translations from the Situationist International (the notorious avant-garde group that helped trigger the May 1968 revolt in France), and the Rexroth Archive (texts by and about the great writer and social critic Kenneth Rexroth).

"Making petrified conditions dance by singing them their own tune."


15 Sep 2002
Subject: Your collective process group


I read the thingy about your book on "collective process", and I thought that ya'll would be interested in the methodology and inter-personal/collective process outlined by "Taking Children Seriously"(TCS). I view TCS process to be the most advanced and thoroughly anarchist approach to group process so far.

You can learn more about TCS by going here: The TCS articles here go into the most thorough detail on it all:

As far as communication withn groups goes, you should prolly check out Non-violent Communication -

In Solidarity,



15 Sep 2002
Subject: collective processes and abuses

Hi there
Thanks for the email about decision making and the abuses of consensus.

There is a book about Primitivism titled 'Primitivism An Illusion With No future' which you might find interesting in this context. (especially the early section in this)

It is on the web at:

but especially take a look at:



16 Sep 2002
Subject: Historical perspectives on Consensus

Quakers originated their own consensus process and the facilitation process, in the 1600s, in England. They started doing things this way to slow themselves down, because they were apt to go doing radical things, like stripping naked in the market square and piling coals on their heads, in order to get attention for their ministry. They found that the group-decision-making process, as well as the intervention of Committees for Clearness to help a member discern whether an urge to action was a serious leading or just the desires of the ego, helped them get the gravity and group-consent they needed before taking action in the world.
BTW, you know that structure of local, autonomous, non-hierarchical collectives that meet weekly, that gather more largely on a monthly basis for business, that meet with other regional collectives on a quarterly basis, and have a general assembly once a year to re-write the common experience and to take resolutions for the future, to be reimplemented at the local level... sound familiar? Quakers. There's been more in-depth analysis of the Quaker consensus process written, but this is an intro.

Also try, "Anarchism in Action: Methods, Tactics, Skills, and Ideas"

and then there's the consensus process described in the Zapatista Consulta and the European Social Consulta...
I'd be interested to figure out where the hand-signals that are often used in the consensus process come from: twinkling, one finger, two fingers, time out, louder, slower, translation, etc. Cool project! Take care.



13 Nov 2002
Subject: Gary Snyder's "Buddhist Anarchism"

Gary Snyder's article "Buddhist Anarchism" -- one of the first expressions of what later became known as "socially engaged Buddhism" -- is now online at

"Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings. Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion....

"The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both."

* * *
"Making petrified conditions dance by singing them their own tune."


19 Dec 2002
Subject: Re: Collective Book on Collective Process

Here is some really great information for you. I tried to post it to the message board. I don't know if it worked:

A Critique of Consensus Process

This response by Mediageek is worth reading too:



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