If agreement is the antithesis of a dictatorial system that disrespects most speech, what must happen is that all concerned parties must be accorded the freedom to speak and be heard. All parties agree to come to consensus, whatever matter the issue. Assurance is provided that:
- every opinion counts
- all proceedings are carried out without coercion, expectation of immediate direct remuneration, devaluation of processes and/or proceedings.
With respect to the practice of consensus as an achievable social model, one example of a group that practices consensus is The Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers). And I was informed that at Arcosanti, the Arcosanti Leadership Team (aka ALT) also practices consensus decision-making.
I am familiar with Quaker examples of consensus decision-making. I don't know what form of consensus decision-making is practiced at ALT meetings. I was told that ALT meetings are held in private ("in camera") with no recorded minutes. That means, of course, that we have no way of verifying what procedures assuring consensus are in place at Arcosanti.
As consensus models differ and people have to come to some agreement about how dissent will be handled, it's not "outside the box" to examine different consensus decision-making models or procedures.
What I have wondered is: If you have never before had an opportunity to test how blocking some procedure or process works, how do you learn to sagely use such power to test how the practice of consensus helps achieve an organizational goal?
Here are some areas of enterprise that might require consensus decision-making:
- How are the books of account to be kept?
- How will it be assured that all record-keeping will be accurate to the letter?
Dissent in some cultural groups may be so compelling that it will be met with an entailment ritual. One example is the ceremonial call for objections to the coupling that a ritual marriage ceremony will confirm. (As in: "Let anyone who objects to the union of this couple speak now or forever hold his peace!")
A group seeking Consensus might have agreements in place which permit just one individual to block a proposed procedure or process.
WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:
- WHAT ARE THE ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS OF ARCOSANTI?
- ARE ARCOSANTI'S GOALS EXCLUSIVE OR INCLUSIVE?
- HOW WERE ARCOSANTI'S GOALS ARRIVED AT?
- HOW ARE THE GOALS BEING IMPLEMENTED?
- WHO BENEFITS?