The public image of DiD

This post only expresses the opinion of the author (Pj)

When I was in the Berlin DiEM25 event, June 21017, facilitating a workshop about topologies of grassroots movements, I experienced two types of reactions. On one hand there was a lot of attention to both my presentation and the work that DiD was doing, which by then was widely known among the grassroots activists. The second was fear to be associated to DiD, to such an extent that in my closing workshop I was requested by a member of the organization not to propose DiD as a hub for a future network of pan European groups that would provide the necessary topology for our organization to succeed. I did as requested. Nothing came out of that effort.

The image of DiD is quite controversial, and we have got word of it, and we have tried to put a remedy, but we do not seem to succeed. Why? It pains me that we spend most of our time trying to be “non confrontational” (listen to our meeting recordings and read our meeting minutes if you have any doubts about it) instead of building the communication structures that we so badly need.

It is quite obvious that we represent a checkpoint, a necessary observer ever watching the way in which decisions are made, regardless of their content. Shouldn’t that be positive? I believe our very existence has helped to put the discussion about internal democracy in the middle of the table and I am aware that this has reduced the speed at which the movement was progressing, but I hope it will pick up real momentum once we all decide in which direction we are moving. Indeed we have repeatedly made the point that we do not think there are any evil doings from anyone against internal democracy, but that we have moved forwards too fast not paying enough attention to this critical issue. The obvious reason for that is that there is no clear solution to the problem of democracy. Not in DiEM25, not elsewhere. We have to find the solution among all DiEMistas.

However, we have been pictured by some as a faction that aims to split the movement. It must be understood that this is by no means the case. We are truly convinced DiEMistas who put an enormous amount of effort in trying to make this project succeed. I would like to share with you some records of our activity for you to be reassured:

“It was agreed upon that our activity should contribute to the good health of DiEM25 and in no way be understood as a threat to the organization. “ Founding Meeting Sept 14th 2016

Aims of DiD:
1. Engaging with the DiEM25 members
2. Defining democratic governance
3. Reviewing the organisational principles
4. Setting up a dialogue with the CC
5. To experiment with the tools of democracy”

And finally in the About section of this blog: “This is a blog for people who would like to explore the possibility of making DiEM25 the spearhead of democracy in the twenty first century: inclusive, efficient, effective and corruption proof.”

How can we be misunderstood? In which way can this be a faction?

Some people think the name “Democracy in DiEM25” is bad for DiEM25. I do not agree. On the contrary, a movement which is conscious of its own shortcoming and addresses them upfront is a movement that people can trust. But, you know what? We are more than happy to change it, if the rest of the DiEMistas think it would be best. Do you?

At any rate we are determined to do what we were set to, we are now working in a new large scale debate initiative called the DiEM Café in which you will be invited to take part. We are working on an analysis of persistent democratic deficiencies in the movement. We are working on setting up other transnational groups and networks. We are working for DiEM25 and we hope to work with you.

If you still have doubts, meet us, write to us, question us until you can trust that DiD is there for you, for DiEm25.

Salud, paz y democracia.
Pj

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The public image of DiD

  1. The unfortunate truth is that the grassroots language of Diem, “Coordinating Collective”, its representative structure, and its actual functioning – oligarchy by default – don’t match up. Those responsible would prefer not to have this made obvious. That is why DiD is feared. It is also why an official response from the CC can have a Fog Index of 17, when easily readable text should be no higher than 8 on the Fog Index.

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  2. Hello #PedroJuan,
    I have attended some of the early meetings of DiD. I accept without reservation that you and your colleagues are sincere in what you are trying to do. We are in the middle of the CC election for which I am a candidate. For me transparency, honesty, and straight talking are important. I try to avoid my natural human response of being aggressive when I feel others are stepping outside their limits. I try to be aware of my limits and struggle to rise above them. I am posting this message here on you WordPress blog site and I have not intention of posting it elsewhere. Unfortunately I do not know whether I can confine it to this site only. On the other hand, transparency is important and I wish to set my standards high on this. I won’t speak behind your back.

    You speak as if you and the DiD members are the injured ones. The DiEM25 movement is only just starting. It is inevitable that mistakes will be made. I struggled to understand why DiD immediately established itself as an arbiter to judge other members. In that way you are announcing to the world that you will be the judge and jury on the way the rest of the organisation behaves. And this is what you have been doing. You have named and criticised individuals who have up to now been working as volunteers like the rest of us. Have you considered the possibility that this stance is merely a defensive mechanism to protect yourselves from criticism? Are you afraid that DiEM might discover or develop a way of working that you haven’t thought of? How would you cope then? Why do you think that you and your colleagues know more about politics, political structures, and political strategising than other members do? You are actually behaving like those others within the current political system and who have established power bases for themselves there to lord it over the masses.

    It pains me to see you sitting outside the campfire circle, setting yourselves apart from and above other members. Why should we listen to you. I sat in at a few of the first DiD meetings and found them boring and procedural and posturing. More shadow than substance. I said so at the time, but no one asked me why I had that impression. No one engaged with me or challenged me. I was not clear about the background of members and I understood that most of those attending were based in Ireland. Why is it that so few other Ireland-based members attend your meetings? I am sorry to put it this way, because I know that it may taken as hurtful. I tried to express these ideas at the time but no one would listen. You were obsessed with getting the technology right. The meetings were boring. The few present seemed more interested in telling others how to be democratic rather than explore their own concepts of democracy. You were walking on thick concrete foundations and I felt I was walking on thin ice, so I stopped attending . I felt that no one wanted to explore new ideas, Instead it was an old-fashioned dialectic session from my student days. It was like a revivalist religious meeting and everyone was expected to pledge their loyalty to the leaders of a dead empire.

    I am sorry, Pedro, I know that you have given a lot of energy and time to this effort. But it is going nowhere if you and your disgruntled team members keep searching for pimples on the face of DiEM25 and ignoring the boils on your own body politic. I promise you that if I am lucky enough to be elected to the CC, you are one of the first people I will reach out to for support. You and your colleagues have a lot to offer from your expertise but you are offering only your dissatisfaction disguised as advice, your pain disguised as criticism of others. Please take time to consider what I am saying. I wouldn’t say it as bluntly as this if I didn’t care. I would just ignore you and let you sniffle in the corner.

    If you would care to vote for me, then you will find more details at: https://internal.diem25.org/en/elections/1/candidatesfhttps://internal.diem25.org/en/elections/1/candidate

    Sincere wishes,

    Tony

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