[P2P-F] Fwd: hello friends, article on horizontality

Chapullers OrsanS orsan1234 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 27 15:01:20 CET 2013

New book in French on horizontality, by a Tunisian comrade and friend!
 they need p2p help for English translation..
solidarity, Orsan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chapullers OrsanS <orsan1234 at gmail.com>
Date: 27 November 2013 14:57
Subject: Re: hello friends, article on horizontality
To: Mark Barrett <marknbarrett at googlemail.com>
Cc: Rami Brahem <rami.brahem at gmail.com>, marita <maciacia50 at hotmail.com>

here too, Rami, is it ok to add name or should it stay as anonymous?
will try to spread as much as I can, great job!

On 27 November 2013 07:18, Mark Barrett <marknbarrett at googlemail.com> wrote:
> published at
> http://www.peoplesassemblies.org/2013/11/horizontal-hope-looking-for-english-translators/
> On 9 November 2013 11:14, Rami Brahem <rami.brahem at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello, here's an article i wrote in french that is translated to english.
>> I thought you'd find an use to it.. It's free to diffuse & may help getting
>> translators for the book ?
>> I'm looking forward for your returns, feel free to diffuse on your lists
>> if you think it could be useful.
>> See you.
>> "What can we do to change things?" It's hard to avoid this issue when
>> considering the sad state of our societies ...
>> Let us quickly recall some elements in explaining the genealogy of this
>> political crisis.
>> Poverty proceeds from a dialectic that Marx revealed diligently: a
>> minority monopolizes wealth at the expense of a majority that nevertheless
>> embodies the lifeblood of a society. This majority progressively structured
>> by the aggregate of individual interests, becomes powerless before the
>> interpenetration of financial monopolies.
>> And yet if there is a way out of this debacle, it is in our collective
>> strength, particularly when arranged in a synergistic manner.
>> This is what we think.
>> Some people think that the spread of their revolution will happen. But
>> many have no contact with the reality of a struggle on the ground. They
>> speculate and do not experiment.
>> How can we hope for a practical solution, if we are not even able to
>> organize ourselves us in a small group or in a small organization? How can
>> we solve problems on a large scale, when we do not even know how to adjust
>> to a smaller scale?
>> One should also be aware of the difference between the popular support of
>> " I encourage you" and the popular mobilization of "I want to be by your
>> side ." Popular support is an important factor in the revolutionary forces,
>> but it is useless and vain too hope that all will rally to our side.
>> It is important to rely primarily on its own strength, be adaptive to the
>> environment and be close to the people. These are basic strategic rules have
>> been understood by all revolutionaries who have been able to achieve real
>> change.
>> We could explain in a few words the often ignored non-Western origins of
>> democracy, and at the same time, show an extraordinary approach to make
>> better decisions together. On the other hand, human beings adapt to their
>> environment and develop individualism above all because it is based on a
>> system of the competition of individuals amongst each other. Given no better
>> alternative, the community defers to those who already have the most.
>> Let us now turn to the heart of the matter:
>> When Gutenberg invented the printing press the deployment of knowledge
>> outside of the clergy and nobility quickly caused problems in the
>> institutions of the feudal system; the decline of feudalism significantly
>> expanded science and the university, and radically changed the world and its
>> operations to lead us to the industrial era.
>> In general, our communication tools are levers that can radically change
>> the way we work, encouraging us to deploy more "collective intelligence”.
>> Similarly, the internet today has produced a "crisis of conscience" about
>> the reality of political decisions and help in the deployment of a new world
>> of open - source , collaborative company management, participatory media,
>> the 15M movement, Occupy Wall Street, leading to new kinds of revolts as in
>> Tunisia and Egypt.
>> Although the internet is not going to solve all our problems by itself,
>> such a tool will necessarily involve a major change in our society. One can
>> even argue that it will allow us to establish a way of life more "human" and
>> more equitable among all.
>> Unfortunately, the overall vision of what can make a tool such as the
>> internet is often limited to a simple appeal to the "democratic" , where in
>> reality it is our democratic vision that will revolutionize the internet.
>> For the internet offers us the ability to share real- time information with
>> everyone else. Among specialists in collective intelligence, we speak of "
>> holopticism." Schematically holopticism is the ability for all members of an
>> organization to collect in real-time everything that is going on. This is
>> key when you understand how information is vital in order to participate
>> equally in a decision.
>> Understanding collective decisions and synergy
>> Some have claimed that there is a natural selfishness in humankind and a
>> need for leaders. Nonetheless, monarchies and republics, even with their
>> leaders, have not yet, with few exceptions, avoided crises , revolutions and
>> chaos.
>> Paradoxically, the greatest remedy to this selfishness was found in the
>> collective decision-making . The idea of popular power is not a Greek
>> invention, it is found to the origins of the human species : for example,
>> even prehistoric tribes of hunter gatherers followed collective
>> decision-making, and did not have a hierarchical structure.
>> Similarly, in nature, among dolphins , for example, one finds ways of
>> living without hierarchy, where leadership changes from one individual to
>> another at any time , and where individual freedom is extraordinary despite
>> a strong spirit.
>> In humans, the method of decision-making that seems most prevalent
>> historically is not dictatorship, nor a majority vote, nor "anarchy."
>> This is a decision that involves a form of unanimity in the group, as
>> evidenced by the exciting work of our ethnologists.
>> From "the apparent consensus decision" by Philippe Urfalino .
>> The Navajo do not have the concept of representative government. They are
>> used to deciding any issue in meetings of all concerned ... Traditionally,
>> they make a decision after having discussed until consensus is met, or until
>> the opposition concedes that it is impractical to continue.
>> This way of taking collective decisions, described in 1946 by Clyde and
>> Dorothea Kluckhon Leughton for Navajo Indians, seems to have been the most
>> widespread form of social organization.
>> The presence on all continents of this mode of decision-making sometimes
>> described as "consensus", sometimes as “unanimous" is evidenced by the work
>> of anthropologists and historians. This is the only mode decision found
>> among hunter-gatherer societies ( Baechler [1994 ] Silberbauer [1982] ) and
>> was also the only legitimate form of collective decision in village
>> communities in Kabylia (Mahé [2000] ) and in Black Africa ( Abeles [2003 ]
>> Terray [1988] ) and Asia ( Popkin [1979] , Smith [1959] ).
>> European village communities of the Middle Ages also used deliberative
>> assemblies, concluding their decisions without a vote, particularly in
>> central and northern Europe: Otto Gierke ( Cited by Dumont [1983], p 99)
>> noted the prevalence of unanimity for Germanic Europe. The Assembly of heads
>> of clans Iceland, Althing, probably worked the same way (Byock [2001]).
>> Consensus still prevailed in the decisions in some Scandinavian villages [as
>> recently as thirty or fifty years ago?] (Yngvesson [1978] for Sweden, Barnes
>> [1954] for Norway).
>> When we point out these examples, our interlocutor often stops us
>> immediately: "You speak of prehistoric tribes? You mean to say that we
>> should engage in direct democracy? These modes of operations also saw tribal
>> wars, plus they were in small groups and on a large scale this organization
>> is impossible. It is already hard to hear in a small group , and then how to
>> decide unanimously on the scale of a country? Anyway, they had the same
>> problems as us, etc. "
>> It is then necessary to establish simple elements:
>> - No, we're not talking about direct democracy as commonly understood, but
>> a more complex form of organization that includes other ways of deciding
>> sets.
>> - These are recent discoveries, and few are those who know exactly what
>> decision-making process were used to achieve unanimity, let alone their
>> exact mechanisms.
>> - Similar processes are used today in many commission of experts, assembly
>> of eminent persons, or the Italian Constitutional Court , because we
>> consider that it is the most effective methods to get the best decision.
>> - In addition, we know exactly why these modes of natural organizations
>> are not found in large numbers?
>> Their mechanisms are generally misunderstood. They reside in both the
>> means for sharing information in the time allocated to adaptation decisions,
>> but also in the differentiation between the general consensus view, and that
>> of consent.
>> We can represent the difference thus: one is a case of “everyone says
>> yes," and the other “no one says no."
>>  Let us dwell for a moment on this important concept. The consensus
>> decision involves equality: it is the principle 1 vote = 1 vote. This is the
>> method we use today in our Western democracies seeking what is called a
>> majority consensus (51% of votes). This is a binary pattern of "for" or
>> “against." It is an aggregation of individual preferences, a bit silly
>> without allowing for differences in strength of preference or conviction.
>> Sometimes we have simple preferences, while at other times, we are
>> strongly opposed to a proposal as presented, or one of its implications.
>> Consent will generally involve consideration for the requirements to the
>> decision: decisions will be made through firm opinion and reasoned
>> objections will face priority over simple preferences. In trying to resolve
>> these conditions, the final decisions will satisfy a much larger number of
>> participants, and will also be better. It is also the only known way to
>> successfully achieve unanimity
>> For example, if we are three friends and we must choose between two
>> containers of ice cream, if two of us prefer vanilla but the third is
>> allergic, we will choose other so that everyone can eat. The firm argued
>> objection will carry more weight than the aggregate preferences.
>> Understanding these natural phenomena is now a key to better decide as a
>> group. However, they have two main limitations: the need to communicate
>> effectively and the time required to make decisions.
>> Do we know exactly why these modes of organizations that seem so natural
>> are not found in large numbers?
>> With our current democracies, it is assumed that everyone has or can
>> participate in decisions as if they were equal to everyone else!
>> This is a big mistake. Imagine a chess game where your opponent could see
>> the whole board, and on your side, you can see only a part. Even if you have
>> an incredible intelligence, and are more talented than him, you will
>> definitely lose this game: you cannot effectively analyze the best move to
>> play because you do not see all the parts of the board.
>> The need to have enough useful information related to a decision is the
>> first thing that pushed humanity to function in pyramidal structures, i.e ,
>> with a hierarchy, a leader who decides what is best for us.
>> With the growth of major cities it became impossible for every member of
>> our community to have sufficient knowledge of what was happening.  In order
>> to make a decision within a large organization, one needs enough general
>> information. And the only way to allow someone to have this information is
>> through the "centralization of information”:  information passes  to a
>> higher level, and this in turn does the same, until the information arrives
>> at the "head" of the organization, which has privileged access .
>> It's called the panopticon: schematically, if you're at the bottom of a
>> mountain, you can see a small shrub near you but not what there is on the
>> other side of the mountain. If you are at the top of the mountain, you will
>> see the entirety of the mountain, but not the details.
>> You know more than the boss about what is happening in your business, but
>> you know less than he or she does concerning what happens in other sectors.
>> Thus, we understand the concept of "information field” is an essential
>> element for making good decisions, and that, without any skill. By virtue of
>> having more information, you can make a better decision whatever your
>> intelligence, your experience or your talent on the subject.
>> In a small group , we can easily share all relevant information , and thus
>> move towards greater equity decision . But in a large organization , it was
>> impossible and unimaginable until now.
>> You will then respond: “Yes, you could still share the information! It was
>> enough to re-share the same way in the other direction!"
>> Again, it's hard to understand a fundamental element: the time factor.
>> When deciding something, we still have a limited time to make this decision.
>> If you are a general and an army is in front of you attacking, you will
>> not take the time to share with all members of your army useful information
>> and cheerfully discuss what seems wiser. You have a limited time to make the
>> decision more just to avoid getting slaughtered.
>> The time required for the decision depends on the decision to make, and
>> when we realize that we have a limited time to make a decision, it also
>> includes the ability to share real -time information that will give us
>> precious time to arrive at the best decision all together.
>> These are key elements to understand:
>> - You cannot make a decision unless you collectively share enough
>> information related to the decision.
>> - The way you make a decision depends on the time you have to make it.
>> It is follows that having sufficient information and time are necessary to
>> decide effectively. In turn improved decision making begins the instant
>> everyone has information.
>> We often say, "Human beings are selfish and they only think about
>> themselves in the end, and that's the problem."
>> The human being is not an exploitive, selfish monster, as Marx explained
>> to us. Although his contribution to the mechanisms of capitalism is more
>> precious, even prophetic, his comprehension of human nature is most
>> ridiculous and devoid of real analysis of the context that can bring these
>> human behaviors.
>> This is the system that pushes us to be individualistic, and there is
>> evidence to certify:
>> " Anthropologists stress that the practice of what might be called palaver
>> is exercised
>> in a normative context where political individualism is absent ( Terray [
>> 1987 -
>> 89 ] Abeles [2003 ] ) . "
>> Do you realize the significance of this simple sentence? A context where
>> political individualism is absent? But if human beings are fundamentally
>> individualistic then how can there be so many societies where political
>> individualism does not exist?
>> But especially the most basic question: in what parameters is political
>> individualism absent?
>> The answer lies in the concept of synergy, we can do more together than
>> the sum of what can be done separately. A tribe of hunter-gatherers will be
>> able to drive a huge mammoth work together and provide meat in abundance for
>> all, where the individual acting alone could never do so.
>> The problem is that we do not understand that if we can act
>> synergistically then what we produce together is strictly greater than the
>> sum of what can be produced separately, and if we always allocate equitably
>> the fruits of this collective work, then self-interest and public interest
>> coincide.
>> In other words, your interest is to help the group or community, because
>> the more it will earn, the more you earn in return. This is not true in our
>> society today for two reasons: synergy is ignored, and there is an
>> inequitable distribution of wealth. If you give to your country, you will
>> only make the rich richer and the poor continue to be poor.
>> Mutual support, sharing and love of one’s neighbor are erased when we are
>> placed us in an environment where protecting the interests of those we love
>> means confronting others. If man is placed in an environment where helping
>> others benefits everyone, including his family, then all are much better
>> off.
>> You may say, "But in this case, humanity would have chosen to be less
>> effective in establishing the pyramid scheme? It does not make sense!"
>> Of course, we have continued to evolve. A small group is more effective in
>> conducting its affairs horizontally, but this ability is lost in large
>> numbers. The synergy of a horizontal system is impossible without
>> holopticism. The pyramid scheme makes sense for one simple reason: quantity
>> may outweigh quality.
>> When a small group of 50 people working more effectively in a horizontal
>> system is faced with an army of 5,000 individuals with a great leader, even
>> if the small group deploys more intelligence proportionate to the number of
>> individuals, it cannot resist the "strength in numbers".
>> The pyramid scheme therefore made sense in a world where information could
>> not be shared with all instantly. But the question that remains is whether
>> this is still the case today.
>> "But how to create a world where giving to the community will save at
>> all?"
>> The solution to our problem lies in how we make our decisions, in the
>> analysis of the decision with the consent of all and of the structure
>> [organization?], in the understanding of the concept of information field,
>> and the parameters of the synergy.
>> Because in reality all these elements are not or little studied and remain
>> completely unknown to the general public. We never tried to understand these
>> mechanisms and discoveries are very recent.
>> In addition, the use of large-scale internet brings the possibility to
>> have equal access to relevant information in very large structures is also a
>> new element historically. Without this tool, it is impossible to have a fair
>> [understanding?] about the possibility of participating in general
>> decisions.
>> It is these elements that are key to understanding the great challenges of
>> the 21st century.
>> Even when we look to the past, discussions and debate about how we make
>> decisions collectively are very numerous, and have led us to other voting
>> methods, and exciting proposition that is deliberative democracy, too often
>> ignored.
>> It is natural anyway that we redirect our attention to the traditional
>> ways of making decisions on a larger scale, thanks to new technology that
>> will bring us something we had lost large numbers: the holopticism.
>> Just because humans love their neighbor and love to be effective. These
>> modes can be more effective and are also are used in many large companies
>> that tend to reduce levels of the hierarchy, or remove them, as in the
>> open-source movement and new forms of rebellion or social movements
>> worldwide. The examples are endless.
>> The structure of these modes of decision making called unanimously palaver
>> apparent consensus decision or decision to consent of all, is not really
>> understood or applied on a large scale . Specialists discovered just this
>> unexplored continent and it remains totally unknown to the general public.
>> More broadly, these implications are equally ignored. They bring to the
>> work of researchers in collective intelligence: living architecture,
>> holopticism, gift economy, self-learning ...
>> Researchers who themselves have failed to understand the structure of the
>> natural decision in a small group: the differences between consensus and
>> consent.
>> We have a new ability, another way to decide, with a lot of success than
>> those methods used in our political system, but this time spread out in
>> businesses, communities, etc.
>> These functions allow us to adapt, learn from our mistakes, and evolve our
>> operations . The rules governing the 15M movement or Occupy in their
>> beginnings are different from those that govern today. The very fact of
>> having to take into account what is important for each shoot to evolve.
>> The characteristics of a large-scale system that will seek the consent of
>> all will involve other elements that are inter -dependent. Just as we cannot
>> decide without the consent of all holopticism, we cannot accept what is
>> essential for everyone by refusing to evolve, as it can effectively decide
>> the consent of all in a centralized system, etc.
>> If you must share generally the true solution of a fair system radically
>> different from the existing it will mention five characteristics:
>> Research the consent of all: the most common operation in the history of
>> mankind which is by far the most effective, and which suppresses political
>> individualism.
>>  The need to seek maximum holopticism: the total transparency in real
>> -time, minimum, information related to decisions that affect you, which
>> cannot be ruled out a search with the consent of all, greatly reducing
>> corruption and manipulations.
>>  An evolving system as we change, the world changes, and that future
>> generations do not have to be limited by our vision today .
>>  A living architecture that allows everyone to go assist and participate
>> in various locations to form multiple experiences, and a natural authority
>> to put in place, which varies from one individual to another depending on
>> what we are doing .
>>  A decentralization required for each master is what concerns having the
>> last word which does not look at the others, while the other to decide when
>> the decision affects.
>> Such a system is possible and it would permit us to proceed step by step
>> in solving our problems, never stop evolving in itself: a constitution, for
>> example, written all together (it is quite possible when we understand the
>> mechanisms of these decision-making processes); it will be better, and
>> written in a more limited in time! It will be reviewed regularly under
>> similar conditions so that the following generations are masters of their
>> society, and not governed by the laws that previous generations have seen
>> best in conditions so very different.
>> Concrete action
>> Most important is that such a system can and should be applied today,
>> among ourselves, with our own internal economy, and testing these methods to
>> prove their superior efficiency.
>> We can organize ourselves today by showing the world that the human being
>> is not what some would have us believe.
>> The Occupy movement and the Indignatos strive to rediscover such
>> approaches often without realizing it, because it is indeed a natural
>> function of people who have now have acquired the power to share real-time
>> information on a large scale.
>> These movements are too centralized and need to share their experiences
>> and complete decision making, test methods comparable decision-making very
>> large scale to provide more concrete alternatives to the people , and learn
>> to accept a new form of leadership while continuing to deny the static
>> hierarchy, ie refuse a great leader : we can be in the same group all
>> leaders on specific functions, for a specified period.
>> But they never fail to evolve and they are only just beginning! We naively
>> believe that we can have everything overnight, for a mass mobilization, even
>> hope in the persistence of individuals who overcome their difficulties by
>> relying on their own strength, determination, and lifelong learning.
>> Then there is the response, "Okay, even if this system is possible and we
>> can make better decisions together and have synergy and a better world ,
>> anyway , we do not have the power to establish it! "
>> Again, we often think of a miraculous process, everyone should be aware
>> and act, or a major campaign of mass communication should change everything
>> in itself. And if that does not work it is just that people are too stupid.
>> This is another big mistake. First, not everyone can be a full-time or
>> even part time activist today. Many of us have responsibilities and cannot
>> engage in a difficult struggle while providing for their families. The
>> degree of conviction varies among people, or they have other priorities.
>> It is also for these reasons that we must offer concrete alternatives to
>> people, respecting those who cannot invest as much as we in this change.
>> For example, we can create a system within the system, using our own
>> money, and if we collectively manage our resources effectively, we will gain
>> strength every day, starting to now. As a linux system is more efficient
>> than windows system, a horizontal well managed system is more efficient than
>> a pyramid scheme in the Internet era.
>> There are many means to act, working practically, evolving and progressing
>> every day. The creation of a small group of trusted colleagues can change
>> things enormously, especially by adopting similar horizontal operations that
>> allow them to combine very easily and very effectively.
>> Our role is to learn to work together in all fairness, actually, today. We
>> should be closer to the people, with specific objectives and recognizing our
>> successes as our failures.
>> The establishment of a small horizontal movement will connect with others,
>> and here tools that are related to networking are very important. We need to
>> facilitate links between people who understand this global perspective, and
>> allow them to all be in direct contact with each other, while continuing to
>> develop our specific projects and assistance.
>> Many tools exist today: Mumble , PADS, crowd -funding , collaborative
>> platforms ...
>> Wherever you are and whoever you are, a great and important task awaits
>> you . We do not ask you simply to "talk around you," there will be no leader
>> , we do not draw lots for a great leader either! Together we make the
>> decisions that affect us all, and we help each other while allowing complete
>> freedom for everyone.
>> However, starting from scratch to learn these methods is difficult and can
>> result in errors: a from a spokesman acquiring too much power to a
>> misunderstanding of the difference between equality and equity decision,
>> between consensus and consent, between methods that work and those that
>> don’t, not to mention making changes based on the parameters of the decision
>> to take, etc.
>> Your mission, should you accept it, is to make contact the self-managed
>> groups around you and connect with others. To accept differences and
>> understand others. Adopt effective strategies on the ground, enact systemic,
>> concrete alternatives : free currencies , food self -sufficiency, a culture
>> of commitment, etc. .
>> We must learn from each other and adopt methods that allow us to grow
>> every day.
>> And we well remember an important element; if we cannot agree amongst
>> ourselves in a fair system today, how can we hope to do throughout the
>> world?
>> This system exists. And you can test it today in your own groups and
>> especially improve since it is ultimately a proposal that everyone should
>> own, and which is scalable. We can all help each other and decide together
>> the world in which we live and immediately develop strategies to take back
>> what is rightfully ours and become stronger every day until that time.
>> Horizontalism was born naturally in our society and we have not yet
>> precisely defined it. It is time that everyone appropriates and applies this
>> model.
>> If you need any help , contact the mailing list:
>> http://lists.occupy.net/lists/subscribe/espoirhorizontal
>> One french book called “Horizontal hope” exists where you can see detailed
>> proposals for comprehensive methods and learn more about these. It seeks
>> translators, "Horizontal Hope" available free at:
>> http://www.horizontality.org/espoirhorizontal/
>> Rami Brahem

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