What do we mean when we say "like-minded"?
From: Dick Margulis (dickdmargulis.com)
Date: Wed, 6 May 2020 10:46:32 -0700 (PDT)
Several years ago, before we learned about sociocracy, we engaged C. T. Butler for a weekend training retreat in his brand of consensus ("Formal Consensus").

One of the lessons that has stuck with us was that to have any sort of consent-based governance, everyone in the community must subscribe to a set of shared values. (Aside: without already having a written set of values on which to base decision making, it took us a year to write the document, but I digress).

The corollary, which he made crystal clear, is that whatever that set of shared values is, individuals are still entitled to their personal values; they just have to agree to behave in the group in a way that is consistent with the shared values.

What that means in practice is that a community can agree to a common value saying eating meat is a bad thing and we're not going to do it. And then if someone wants to join that community, they know what they're getting into. But if a community does not have that as a shared value, then someone who wants to join that community gives up the right to tell other members what they should and shouldn't eat. If I eat meat and you don't, I'm not going to interfere with your choice to eat a vegan diet and you're not going to interfere with my choice to eat meat.

As others before Oliver Wendell Holmes said, yes this is a free country, and you have the right to swing your arm, but that right ends where the other person's nose begins. If we all agree on that underlying principle and use it to guide our own behavior, that goes a long way toward defining what it means to be a community of like-minded individuals.

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