What Is So Wrong With "Control"?
The two buzzwords I have heard (IMHO) far too many times from the currently sitting GFA Officers and Directors are "outsiders" and "control". Despite what any current elitists might think, the reality is that my family has been living on and working for the Flow for 4 generations so far, I being part of the third and my son being part of the fourth. No fewer than four generations of my family (including my teenage son) have volunteered our time and efforts for the betterment of the Flow, almost since its inception. I stand very ready to be corrected, but I do not think any currently sitting GFA Officer or Director can honestly join me in making this generational claim, leading me to directly question just exactly who is the "outsider" here.
"Control" is an essential part of order, which is a fundamental tenet to our concept of modern civilization. "Control" is not necessarily a bad thing - we control ourselves from driving 200 MPH, we control ourselves from robbing a bank when we need cash, we control ourselves from shooting our neighbours simply because they think or look or act differently than we do. At its core, "Control" is a primary contributor to our species' dominance on this planet. But, like any good thing, even control can be distorted and abused, leading to control becoming "Control". When any governing body does all it can to censor and suppress those who simply respectfully dissent with it, that governing body has clearly leapt far across the line from being a truly democratic organization and has absolutely jumped into the arena of Authoritarianism. One of the primary means by which any despot acquires and then maintains control is through the "Control" of information dissemination. We have all seen it dozens of times -- A coup happens, and the new authority seizes "Control" of the broadcast and print media, so that only the 'correct' message which that newly installed authority wants to be put out actually gets out. Thankfully, the advent of the Internet has substantially undermined this tool of Authoritarianism, but it regrettably remains an active and useful practice of organizations such as the currently sitting GFA Board.
As I alluded to earlier, positive control always includes an element of choice. We choose to agree to certain measures of control in order to promote social cohesion and harmony for the betterment of all. But we make this choice for control because we have been able to freely consider all the oftentimes opposing opinions and information available, and then make the best choices which we possibly can. When an organization such as the currently sitting GFA Board decides for each of us what information we are 'allowed' to have access to, we cannot possibly make legitimate choices about anything. Just as the currently sitting GFA Board insultingly calling an exercise wherein there is only ONE handpicked candidate placed on the official ballot an "election" does nothing more than rob all GFA Members in good standing of any real choice whatsoever. Denying GFA Members access to information and opinions simply because they might run counter to the message the currently sitting GFA Board might want to get out is simply wrong, and is absolutely the stuff of Authoritarianism, not anything even close to Democracy. The very last Article in the GFA bylaws states that the GFA shall be governed by "Robert's Rules of Order - Revised". Following are the very first words which one reads when accessing that organizations's website:
"According to Robert’s Rules of Order, parliamentary procedure is based on the consideration of the rights: of the majority, of the minority (especially a large minority greater than one-third), of individual members, of absentee members, of all of these groups taken together.
"The application of parliamentary law is the best method yet devised to enable assemblies of any size, with due regard for every member’s opinion, (NB: my emphasis) to arrive at the general will on the maximum number of questions of varying complexity in a minimum amount of time and under all kinds of internal climate ranging from total harmony to hardened or impassioned division of opinion." [Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised [RONR (11th ed.), Introduction, p. liii]"
We really CAN do MUCH better.
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