Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Democracy Looks Like

OccupyStuff gets a taste of what "democracy" looks like beyond the protesting, shouting, and chanting. Guess what they found out?

Democracy is hard. It requires endless meetings and taking minutes and sitting through speeches from people who don't just disagree with you, but disagree with the fundamental concept about which you are having a conversation. It requires building consensus among competing and diverse interests. Much of the time, nothing of substance gets done, and you just have to make a call about how best to maintain or replicate the seemingly useless process itself so you can do it all over again.

That's the whole "problem" with "democracy." Or even the representative republic in which we live. This type of thing is a feature, not a bug, and there really isn't an easier way to go about it.

What I do find interesting is that, in their rejection of participation in the already established structures of governing - school boards, city councils, city council subcommittees, state representative elections, etc. - the OccupyStuff crew has effectively established its own subcommittees in which you get all the frustration of participation in democracy with none of the direct affect on policy that participation in "the system" would provide.

Well, at least they got on TV.


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