I have found memories of fighting the Power Politics of the “undead left” during the London Social Forum many years ago – lots of knotted strings of organic garlic around the top “taking the power table” to highlight the uncomfortable “undead left´s” grasping for power.
Then the ad hock crew taking away the top table altogether during the lunch break and arranging all the chairs in a circle. Their faces were a delight, coming back after lunch and it kinda/might have worked… but the splits of “not thought of here” took over and the undead were permissioned to take back the space at the next meeting.
The ESF movement faded and now is a shadow – no alt was built.
The use of cultural myths and traditions will mediate and disempower “power politics” but it’s a chicken and an egg to get these embedded in groups that are already ensnared in “power politics”.
The rainbow gatherings used to work this way till they were “disrupted” by the digital shift and capture by the #dotcons now the gatherings themselves are broken due in part by being organized through #failbook
The #OMN could fail from the same issue. The myths and traditions are in place PGA and #4opens. But the project does not have deep roots to weather the inrush of success. And on the other hand will likely not last the slow growth needed for the roots to dig deep.
In activism when you have a shitty stinky process situation due to control freekery. You have two options:
If its a open process project, the closing things down and hiding the crapness/mess will not help at all. The stink will leak out of every bit of the project from relations of core personals to the compromises involved in every piece of design/interaction during the project. This “low” misama might not to be immediately visible but it will cling to everything the project touches.
Open projects become dysfunctional when controlled by closed process, this is a feedback loop that this dysfunction is solved by more closed working/thinking till you are running a closed project.
If it’s a closed to start with then kick the people out – information can be controlled – power kept – and agendas pushed through till the funding runs out or people lose wider goodwill. Opening up a closed project without a revolutionary explosion is nearly impossible – all the repressed and hidden crapness that is needed to keep a closed project going will feed on itself when let loose.
Almost all NGO and activist groups are a mixture of open/closed.
The NGO´s falsify openness in consultations and meaningless focus groups. But always work closed at the core to continue funding and careers of the benefiting group – those who control the closed – not the community the NGO is setup to serve.
Activist by their nature tend to start out open then grow closed as they grow bigger – it’s a human scale thing. Interestingly affinity group organizing is trust based and another subject.
Hopefully we get an idea for the “dogma” of open and the clear rejection of “closed”.