While all kinds of things are said by any of us in Anarchopedia:Itself about politics and civics, the actual Anarchopedia:Policy should be set as much as possible by direct democracy. This suggests we mostly decide by Anarchopedia:Referenda.
However, referendum questions don't arise from nowhere, and the language they employ is also not strictly neutral, and requires some buy-in and deliberate consultation and outreach to find consensus. Anarchopedia:Policy must accept "that it is possible to characterize disputes fairly, so that all the major participants will be able to look at the resulting text, agreeing that their views are presented sympathetically and as completely as possible (within the context of the discussion)." - one of only two assumptions shared with Wikipedia's "Neutral point of view". However, that doesn't make it easy:
This requires some consensus democracy and deliberative democracy and some elements even of representative democracy to make work. In most situations, these forms of democracy are preferable to voting systems:
- Consensus decision making should apply where a policy is constrained, where Anarchopedia:Advice is offered that needs to draw on everyone's knowledge and experience and instincts, or where we have a lot of time and not many people who care - such as the exact wording of some article that is not part of Anarchopedia:Policy. A consensus democracy may also be preferred within Anarchopedia:Factions to make joint decisions that affect only themselves. See below for some.
democracy frames disputes
- Deliberative democracy should apply to Anarchopedia:Questions such as the Anarchopedia:FAQ, or any other open-ended issue where we don't need to make any one decision fast. Bottom-up accumulation of Anarchopedia:Policy and ratification into what Anarchopedia is not can continue in this way until someone objects to or disputes a point. No factions required yet! Really this is what goes on, on talk pages.
- Direct democracy can be invoked directly as Anarchopedia:Referenda, in cases where it's generally agreed that the Anarchopedia:Question is clear, and the Anarchopedia:Advice offered about it has all been heard. Some voting system needs to be chosen for this. Please review them.
factions engage in disputes
The above should deal with 99% of cases, including overt political debates. The rest is for the other 1%, which include epistemology and ontology problems that just aren't resolvable without some formal dispute resolution:
To avoid generating some elaborate hierarchy like Wikipedia's "Arbitration", however, "we should characterize disputes rather than engage in them." - another assumption we share with Wikipedia's "neutral point of view". We only report disputes. To do so efficiently requires some work:
- Representative democracy starts to matter when disputes have arisen and are consistently recurring and there are so many people involved that no one has time to thoroughly understand each other in depth and must rely on some intermediaries and filters - this is when the Anarchopedia:Factions really are needed. Three functions that they can or should be called on to perform:
- An IP block ideally would be up to a user's own faction to decide - it's not something that should be done to one by an enemy who is not taking your political views into account. It should be your friends saying you've gone too far. If you have no friends, well, you are a faction unto yourself, and if you don't declare or state your agenda, maybe you're Anarchopedia:Enemy?
- Before any Anarchopedia:Referenda, each Anarchopedia:Faction should be called on to ratify the wording of the question at hand. Whether or not they have participated in the deliberations beforehand. If they at least have a chance to object that the question is politically slanted or wrongly stated, or that the time of the choice is related to some particular group's agenda, the odds that they will respect the will of the majority afterwards is higher.
- When there is a dispute about the accuracy of reporting of a particular group's views or positions, the Anarchopedia:Faction that holds the most similar views should be the one that makes final decisions about the wording, as they are the ones most likely to make the most subtle distinctions that the other factions don't recognize or respect.
There are default factions created by software: Anarchopedia:Sysops and the Anarchopedia:Vandals they seek out and block IP of. Ideally this is all they do. Sysops should be people trusted by all non-vandal factions to decide what vandalism is, and they should lose that power if any faction disputes their judgment at all. Very few of these people are really needed:
Maybe just one Lowest Troll, implying that Anarchopedia:Trolls (those generally unconcerned with offending anyone, and perhaps somewhat eccentric) are the ones who must decide who they will, and won't, consider a troll not a vandal.
When there are more Anarchopedia:Recruits with personal experience in large public wikis to share, we should discuss the above. Ideally we'd involve at least two, maybe three, members of each of the Anarchopedia:Greens, Anarchopedia:Golds, Anarchopedia:Blues, Anarchopedia:Reds, Anarchopedia:Pinks, Anarchopedia:Elves, Anarchopedia:Black bloc and Anarchopedia:Trolls. These are just names for sample Anarchopedia:factions that might get involved in the above eventually. They can change later.