Re: Objection Versus Extortion
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 11:05:41 -0700 (PDT)
On 21 Oct 2011, at 5:07 PM, Kay Argyle wrote:

> Rather, someone holds out for some unobtainable ideal rather than
> anything possible, or insists that a particular community value totally
> trumps other considerations, including other values.

When we have someone who is doing this (and it is rare here), the facilitators 
have met with the person and talked through the problem. That has generally 
worked. In one case, the team involved just gave up and no one else picked it 
up effectively. We don't have a mechanism for getting issues resolved when the 
responsible person or group gives up.

It has also worked to have someone who has a good relationship with the person 
talk to them. This is likely to be a personal issue and needs to be dealt with 
that way.

The theory of dynamic governance is that consensus only works when everyone 
shares a common aim and will or can sit together long enough to work out 
solutions. The third requirement is that the group be able to chose with whom 
they want to make decisions. Since this is nearly impossible in cohousing, 
particularly after someone has moved in, it is questionable how far consensus 
decision-making can be used. 

Obviously it has worked for millions of decisions in cohousing so it is 
effecting in creating harmonious communities. Endenburg's primary goal in 
adapting consensus decision-making in a corporation was to create a harmonious 

But it may well be that in communities that after years of trying, have not 
been able to establish a strong community that some other form of 
decision-making is necessary, at least for some decision. Consensus cannot 
always work magic.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard 

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