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Re: <nettime> Protocols and Crises
carlo von lynX on Wed, 1 Feb 2017 22:49:30 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Protocols and Crises


On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 09:43:28PM +0100, André Rebentisch wrote:

> The more common match term for "protocol power" as coined by the
> abstract seems to be the anglo-saxon "multistakeholderism" governance
> model. It is deeply embedded in their political culture. I assume it
> stems from a more corporatist past.

Yes, the Internet Governance Forum was all about "multistakeholderism".
By having representatives of all backgrounds participate it is supposed
to turn out more democratic than before. Still, with representation and
reduction to some few individuals, great biases are introduced.

The "protocol power" I see in this is how even the best intended
politicians keep resorting to Matroska style committee constructs
in order to pragmatically organize the voices that are talking to
their heads.. so, instead of having the parliament decide on an
issue, the power may end up in a multistakeholder committee that 
few even know about. I think I'm making the same point that
Varoufakis makes about the eurogroup, filled with bankers and 
ministers of which *none* has been elected directly by their 
respective populations.

When the representatives of a worldwide Internet movement met in
Prague in 2012, they were burdened with the "protocol power" of
forming a representational organization for Europe. What I then
experienced was what I called the "Brussels effect" - a series of
distortions by people that were afraid of representing their own
country, others that did not mind to have their personal opinion
represent their country, and ultimately when putting all the
pieces together, ending up with a least common denominator that
was so harmless, it could have been the whitewashed output of any 
other political party or institution. In other words, the 
innovation that was foundational for the Pirate movement, was 
drowned in the dependency of needing a protocol. A "protocol
power" that hurts even if nobody is controlling it.

But it isn't my style to just denounce a structural,
organizational problem of humankind, without also offering a
perspective on resolution. As we participated in the Internet
Ungovernance Forum, we denounced the apparent fairness of the
multistakeholder approach - without criticizing the promoters,
since the method that we suggest for what we termed...

		     *allstakeholderism*

... had not existed before 2010, so it's nobody's fault for not
having known better. But now they are told, so now it is their
fault if they don't change the method.

Allstakeholderism can be achieved by, you guessed it, setting
up a worldwide liquid democracy platform, as hinted at in the
other thread, by which it can structurally be met that nobody
is cut out, everybody is heard, and yet reasonable choices are
made. Of course this method is terrible for lobbyism, as there
are no elected representatives to lobby. Special interest must
make the effort of convincing the entire electorate, which is
a much harder challenge: if your argumentation is based on
subtle falsehoods, as lobby argumentation usually is, then
somebody will always be there to debunk it in flight before it
even reaches the ground.


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