Federations

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Anonymous
Oct 23 2016 12:39
Federations

It seems that most anarchists advocate some sort of federation of communities that makes decisions regarding how society should function.

1.) What exactly are the roles of this federation in societies based upon mutualism, anarcho-collectivism, and anarcho-communism?

2.) How exactly would decisions be made in these federations? Would it be okay for decisions to be made by vote rather than consensus if consensus can not be reached?

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Chilli Sauce
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Oct 24 2016 02:11

Two thing just to say briefly:

1) I don't think mutualism or collectivism have much currency in the modern anarchist movement and certainly not here on libcom.

2) Consensus is fine as a goal, depending on what you mean by consensus. There's a pretty solid critique, I think, of Occupy-style consensus here on libcom.

So, like, the Solidarity Federation does, sort of, work on a style of consensus when it comes to national decision-making with locals offering motions which can then be amended to take into consideration the wishes of other locals. But there's always a vote and things must pass based on a majority vote. I couldn't foresee any anarchist organization or society functioning without the fundamental role of the majority vote.

Scheuerf (not verified)
May 25 2018 19:29

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Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
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Oct 25 2016 07:37

Aye. If you can reach consensus, that's nice. Otherwise, you go with the less perfect majority vote. In recent years consensus decision making seems to have become more popular and some people seem to fetishise the whole consensus malarkey.

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Steven.
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Oct 25 2016 08:20
Serge Forward wrote:
Aye. If you can reach consensus, that's nice. Otherwise, you go with the less perfect majority vote. In recent years consensus decision making seems to have become more popular and some people seem to fetishise the whole consensus malarkey.

Exactly. I don't think anyone serious believes in consensus decision-making on a widespread basis. Although of course if you can negotiate a reach consensus on things that is best. Alternately you may be able to use "consensus in action", so if a group of people reach consensus on something they can do it, or have something impact on them, but others who disagree may not.

Otherwise you can use majority voting.

We have a number of critiques on here of consensus decision-making, like this one: https://libcom.org/library/consensus-its-discontents

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the button
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Oct 25 2016 09:42
Quote:
Alternately you may be able to use "consensus in action",

In many ways, this can be better than "consensus." What I've seen happen time & time again with consensus is stuff getting agreed that no-one really objects to, but also that very few people actually support. So basically you make your consensus decision, but there isn't a critical mass of people who will actually make it happen. There's something about chairing (or facilitating) meetings here, where it needs to made clear that support = willingness to make it happen, != thinking something is a good idea or thinking something is not a bad idea.

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Steven.
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Oct 25 2016 12:19

The button, yes that's entirely right

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Ivysyn
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Jun 22 2018 01:31

Anarchists have proposed federalism since Pierre Joseph Proudhon, the first person to call himself an Anarchist as a political signifier. What Anarchists mean by this is that the basic network of the Anarchist society will be communities that are nit together through electing delegations to directly correspond with other communities. These would span up from local, to regional, to global level. Decision making would be by direct one person one vote on proposals.