Re: Consensus changing the world
From: Madeline Nelson (
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011 05:39:42 -0700 (PDT)
Moz got it right-- consensus goes way back in anarchist-based and 
anarchist-influenced social change groups, as well as any that have been 
influenced by Quakers (so, peace groups), who have used and taught facilitation 
and consensus since at least the 1970s. Rather than dating it to 15th May of 
this year, you may want to look to the Spanish Civil War, one of the few times 
in history when anarchism came out of the closet and rose to great popularity. 
The spokes model was developed by these anarchists in the 1930s. I love that 
anarchism is having a chance shine, though most of us still hesitate to say the 
word and even at OWS you will hear people blame anything that goes wrong 
(mainly police violence) on the "stupid anarchists". Nonetheless, a number of 
long-time anarchists who seldom say the word are getting a chance to own that 
label proudly.

In a conversation with a group of younger anarchists, I talked about liberal 
trends that I see as in tune with the better world we all want to see, 
including transition towns and co-housing. They were skeptical, but much 
encouraged to learn that co-housing generally uses a consensus-based model. 


> Hi-
> As I understand it, the Occupy Wall Street movement derived its consensus 
> rules from the 15th May movement that started in Spain this year.  My Spanish 
> is not great, but it looks to me as if they were using a very similar form of 
> consensus in Spain almost from the get-go.  
> -Jessie Handforth Kome
> Eastern Village Cohousing
> "Where some of our member went to the facilitation training at McPherson 
> Square (Occupy DC) and our group tried out the hand signals at the community 
> meeting tonight."
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