Re: Moving back from concensus?
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2020 05:27:02 -0800 (PST)
Sharon —

You (re?)define “I can live with it” as meaning “I understand that the decision 
applies to me, even if I don’t ‘like’ it.”  This sound entirely reasonable … 
until you look at the contrapositive: “If I don’t ‘like’ it, and ‘can’t live 
with it', then the decision doesn’t apply to me.”  In other words …

Compliance with any decision is conditional upon agreeing with it.  If I don’t 
agree with the project, I won’t be paying my share of the assessment; if I 
think the rule about kitchen clean-up is too fussy, then I won’t honor it.  And 
so on.  In the public sector, this is comparable to withholding the taxes that 
go to the war, or ignoring the speed limit.

I have several comments about this:  Refusal to cooperate with democratically 
determined agreements is a complete breakdown of the social contract, cohousing 
or otherwise.  If I refuse to honor community agreements, then I’m no longer 
really a member of the community.  And while I acknowledge your unusual example 
of consent without intent to comply, I’ve never heard anyone at Cornerstone — 
not even our most persistent of objectors — assert or imply that s/he will not 
be complying with a community decision.

In short, I’m not persuaded we’ve yet come up with a workable, operational 
definition of what “I can’t live with it” actually means.  Unless we all 
understand that saying “I can’t live with it” is code for, “If you do this, 
I’ll probably continue to live in my unit, but I am officially dropping out as 
a member in good standing.”


> On Dec 17, 2020, at 8:11 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> 
> wrote:
> The second paragraph is good. That’s what it means that you can live with it. 
> It allows you to still function harmoniously in the community. Our definition 
> of consent includes "will comply” because a member once said he consented 
> because he wasn’t going to do it anyway.

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